Film Study: Breaking Down the Buckeye Punt Team

Film Study: Breaking Down the Buckeye Punt Team

With the hiring of Jim Tressel in 2001, the Buckeyes emphasized the importance of a play that could swing field position by as much as 50 yards at a time. The 2002 national championship validated a 'defense and field position' mantra, which coincided with Andy Groom and B. J. Sander's efforts to re-write the school record books at the oft-overlooked position. But over time, this philosophy began to wear thin among fans nationally, often associating this conservative style with the Big Ten's lack of success on the biggest stages. Those fears appeared to come to life in an initial campaign that saw his team plagued by blocked punts , as countless young players were thrust into action while learning a new punt scheme. This focus is rarely highlighted though, as TV broadcasts often use that time to zoom in on a returner or continue discussion of the previous play, leaving fans fairly clueless about his approach to punting the ball away. Due to the success of the aforementioned offense in 2014, the Buckeyes punted the fifth-fewest number of times in the country, seeing only the high-powered attacks of Oregon and Marshall and clock-chewing option systems of Navy and Georgia Tech...

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