1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

bsn BSN: Special Teams plague CU Buffs in Ann Arbor

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Sep 18, 2016.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
    Likes Received:
    The Colorado Buffaloes seemed to be cruising after one quarter in their matchup against fourth-ranked Michigan. Ahead 21-7 at any point in the game, let alone in the first half or at the Big House, the Buffs came out shocking the Ann Arbor audience. However, Colorado wasn’t able to finish, getting outscored 38-7 the rest of the contest, if you had to point your finger in blame, it would probably go in the direction of CU’s poor special teams play.

    Realistically, the score could have been 24-0 after the first quarter, had it not been for a 36-yard field goal Diego Gonzalez missed and a deficient blocking job from the Colorado offensive line. With eight and a half minutes left in the first quarter, sophomore punter Alex Kinney tried to get a punt away, only for it to be blocked by tight end Michael Jocz and returned by Grant Perry for a Michigan touchdown. That score helped narrow Colorado’s lead to seven. Had it not been for a bad blocking job in the punt formation, Colorado just might have kept the Wolverines scoreless through one quarter, which would’ve boded huge for momentum.

    But the bad day was just about to get worse for Kinney and the punt team. Kinney, a Fort Collins native didn’t punt the ball effectively, while the punt team had a tough time bringing down a star in Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers.

    “Yeah we had some issues,” mentioned Coach MacIntyre postgame to the media. “I’ll go see it on film, we’ll fix it and move on.”

    Kinney’s punting performance was unsatisfactory to say the least. Even when he didn’t get it “blocked” he managed to mis-hit the ball right into one of his own linemen. Giving Michigan exceptional field position deep in Colorado territory. The rest of his punts had a very low flight with mediocre yardage. Averaging 36.13 yards per punt, Kinney’s punts were five yards shorter on average than his average from the Idaho State game last Saturday.

    “I think it hurt the game for sure,” said Coach MacIntyre said of his team’s putting. “There is no doubt about it. It was a big part of the game for us not coming out on top.”

    Due to the short punts from Kinney, Peppers was able to display his sick skill. Nabbing 24.75 yards per punt return, he was able to give Michigan great field position all afternoon. Later the future NFLer would go on to score on a 54-yard punt return for a touchdown with 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter, icing the game in the process. The hang-time on that punt was a meager 2.38 seconds, presenting Peppers with plenty of time to think and react, while restricting the Buffaloes, leaving them helpless to stop such a force.

    “He’s just a player that makes plays,” said quarterback Sefo Liufau of Peppers. “We respect a player like that because he can play so many different positions and he can do a lot of great things for them…there are great players everywhere and he’s just one of them.”

    A key cog of the special teams unit took a major blow. In addition to missing a 36-yard field goal in the first quarter, which was costly Diego Gonzalez tore his Achilles. He suffered the injury on a kickoff and it will cost him the remainder of the season. The senior from Monterrey, Mexico was 18-29 last year in field goals and produced the game-winning field goal against Colorado State in the Rocky Mountain Showdown a year ago. This season he looked confident kicking the ball and hadn’t missed an opportunity until his first quarter miss.

    Drew Sharek
    Continue reading...

Share This Page