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How bad are UB's special teams?

Falcon Blog does a great weekly feature grading the special teams performance of Bowling Green against that of their opponents. Given that I have half a bye week I decided that, with his permission, I would apply Falcon Blogs Formula to UB games to see if the Bulls's special teams are as bad as many claim. If readers like this feature I may pick it up as a regular feature.

Here are the grading criteria:
Field Goals
Offense Defense
50 FG Made +2 Blocked +3
40+ Made +1 TD +6
40- Missed -1
Blocked -3
Missed XP -2
TD Allowed -6
Punting
Punting Team Return Team
TD Allowed -6 TD +6
Blocked -3 Blocked +3
Less than 25 net -1 Sub 20 net +1 (w/return)
More than 45 net +1 Plus 45 net -1 (w/return)
Inside 10 +2 Turnover -3
Inside 20 +1 Fake Punt works -3
Turnover +3 Fake Punt Fails +3
Fake Punt work +3
Fake Punt Fails -3
Kickoffs
Kickoff Team Return Team
Inside 20 +1 Inside 20 -1 (No TB)
TD Allowed -6 TD +6
Outside 35 -1 Outside 35 +1
Over 50 -2 Outside 50 +2
Turnover +3 Turnover -3
Rec onside kick +3 Losing onside kick -3

So, how have UB's special teams done this year?

Game Buffalo Opponent Differential
UTEP 0 4 -4
PITT -4 9 -13
UCF 2 3 -1
Temple -8 12 -20
CMU 5 5 0
G. Webb 1 3 -2
Akron 6 3 3
WMU 4 12 -8
Total 6 51 -45

The only game in which UB special teams outplayed their opponents was the narrow victory against Akron. UB's success in the Akron game was rooted in a stellar performance by AJ Principe and the punting team who landed three punts at or inside the ten yard line. Aside from Akron, and a push against CMU, UB special teams have been out played, and badly, in every other contest this season.

UB has struggled the most in kickoffs where nine times this season opponents have made it outside the thirty five yard line, once beyond mid field, and one kickoff has been returned for a touchdown. All of this against only five times that UB managed to hold their opponents inside the 20 yard line.


Buffalo Opponents Buffalo Opponents
Kickoffs -6 13 Kickoff Return 1 16
Inside 20 +1 5 16 Inside 20 -1 0 0
TD Allowed -6 0 0 TD +6 0 6
Outside 35 -1 -9 -6 Outside 35 +1 4 8
Over 50 -2 -2 0 Outside 50 +2 0 2
Turnover +3 0 3 Turnover -3 -3 0
Rec onside kick +3 0 0 Lose onside -3 0 0
Scores of Kickoff and Kickoff Return teams

While field goal kicking has been a whipping boy they have actually scored as close to their opponents as anyone. Personally I feel like this is because UB has not chanced too many 40+ yard kicks (opting to go for in on 4th down instead) but as only twice have our opponents made 40+ yard kicks (both in the UCF game) those numbers are a push.

Buffalo Opponents
40+ Made +1 0 2
40- Missed -1 -2 -1
Blocked -3 0 0
Missed XP -2 -6 -6
Scores of field goal units
Finally Punting, UB made up a lot of ground since the CMU game and having John Rachuna do some of the damage he is capable of will hopefully start to swing these numbers closer to the Bulls favor.

Buffalo Opponents Buffalo Opponents
Punting 18 27 Punt Return 1 -3
Less than 25 net -1 -6 -2 Sub 20 net +1 (w/return) 1 1
More than 45 net +1 2 5 Plus 45 net -1 (w/return) 0 -1
Inside 10 +2 14 14 Turnover -3 0 -3
Inside 20 +1 5 10
Turnover +3 3 0

If UB wants to make a run at the rest of the season they are going to need to clean up kick return coverage. Punting is starting to take care of itself and while field goal kicking is pretty bad it has not, aside from WMU, been the defining feature of special teams play. The defining weakness in UB special teams is opponents starting at the 30 or 40 yard line and the Bulls starting at the 10 to 15.

The return team has improved, in no small part due to Roosevelt, what has not yet materialized is any improvement on the kick coverage teams. UB has still has games against 4th ranked Ohio and 6th ranked Kent Coach Dodson has his work cut out for him.