FSU football has emphasized special teams during practice all offseason. It looks like it with how that unit played against Georgia Tech.
Mike Norvell spoke about the importance of special teams and how that would be one of the foundations of the team.
Well, I wish they could take how they performed on special teams and spread it over to the offense and defense.
Aside from a 46-yard missed field goal, FSU special teams were nearly flawless against Georgia Tech. I know everyone will point to the two blocked field goals and the blocked extra point.
However, I want to place some light on some other important aspects of that unit.
Freshman Alex Mastromanno was a huge improvement over the past few years. He only punted three times but averaged 48.3 yards per punt. One was a touchback on a punt that was nearly downed inside the 10-yard line, and the other two punts were returned for seven and 14 yards respectively. Those returns were a bit much to allow on a punt return for my liking, and were a result of a hustle compared to their early efforts.
Punt Return/Kickoff Return
I can already tell freshman Travis Jay is the real deal. He had one punt return for 16 yards that he probably shouldn’t have caught, but he was trying to make a play and did so. He had three kickoff returns, where he averaged 25 yards per return too.
It looks like Mike Norvell was using the Jimbo Fisher method of kicking the ball short, allowing the opposing team to return the ball and tackle them inside the 20-yard line. This method worked three of the four kickoffs, as the Noles got down on coverage and made the tackle at the 10, 16, and 21 yard-lines.
Field Goal Kicking
Parker Grothaus made two of three field goals with a long of 53 impressive yards. He made another field goal from 37 yards, with the field goal he missed coming from 46 yards.
A few things to clean up, but overall this was the one phase of the game where improvement was noticeable. Here’s to hoping they will continue to play well in this phase while the offense and defense come around.