Wisconsin special teams going lean to adapt to rule changes

Last season, Wisconsin's three shield protectors on their punt team averaged 6-6, 320 pounds, and all played on the offensive or defensive line.

However, with the new rule saying that defenders are no longer allowed to leap over the shield to attempt to block the punt, the staff at Wisconsin has decided to go a little leaner up front.

The new shield consists of two tight ends and a fullback, undoubtedly adding more mobility.

"We're still training the big guys. We'll have both sets of people into our arsenal and carry both groups into all games and react to what we're getting from the opponent." said assistant coach Charlie Partridge, who works with the punters.

The rule change is expected to force punt block teams to attack the edges of the shield, much like Michigan State and Ohio State did successfully last season when they blocked Badger punts.

"When the shield first came out people would take four bigger tackles or defensive end types and try to push the shield into the punter. When they realized there wasn't a lot of production to be had there they went to getting the fast guys to turn the edge or make them miss in the middle of the shield.

"It makes more sense to match that." Partridge explained.

Rocky Long considering not punting on 4th down

The "never punt" ideology of Pulaski Academy (AR) head coach Kevin Kelley has struck a chord with San Diego State's Rocky Long.

“It makes sense,” Long explained. “Additional plays would allow you to score a lot more points. It also puts a whole lot of pressure on the defense.”

Long has even started to implement the ideology during scrimmage periods of fall camp regardless of the distance needed.

“It’s a day-to-day theory. I haven’t decided because we’re getting a feel for it out here. I just read about this guy, and I don’t know if I can do that because everybody in the world is going to say this is not Football 101, right?"

“But there’s a reason why he’s winning those games. Maybe he just has better players than everybody else; or maybe it’s their team gets used to playing like that and the other teams don’t get used to playing like that. It’s fourth-and-seven — most defenses run off the field. And now they’re going to stay out there. ‘What? How come the punt team isn’t coming out?’?” Long explained.

Interesting stuff.

For those of you that aren't familiar with Coach Kelley's philosophy, Sports Illustrated gave him some love in this article, we ran this one ("It was 29-0 before we ran our first offensive play") and he has also been featured in numerous coaching publications. 


Virginia Tech gets interesting white helmets

Virginia Tech has added some interesting white helmets that are getting mixed reviews from current players. The new white helmets will be worn for their September 8th "White Effect" game against Austin Peay.

"Our whiteout helmets are so ugly," quarterback Logan Thomas said of the new "Hokie tracks" look.

Take a look and judge for yourself. Thoughts?

Kiffin will no longer vote in coaches poll

After having his "confidential" vote outed late last week, Lane Kiffin has decided that he will no longer participate in the coaches poll.

Kiffin wrote a letter to USA Today, who oversees the coaches poll, and AFCA executive director Grant Teaff explaining his rationale.

"It is an opportunity and responsibility that I do not take lightly. However, I find it necessary to relinquish my voting status." he explained.

"Dream Season" trailer is compelling

Over the past 15 seasons, Northwest Missouri State has seen a ton of success, winning over 75% of their games, making seven national title game appearances, with their most recent title coming in 2009.

But back on June 4th of 2011 tragedy struck the Bearcat family. Months after being named successor to head coach Mel Tjeerdsma, Scott Bostwick passed away without ever having the opportunity to walk the sidelines of his dream job.

To chronicle the 2011 season, a crew got together to capture the story of a season that no one would soon forget. Above is the trailer to the documentary, and it looks phenomenal.

As website dedicated to the documentary states, "It is a story of heart, dedication, and the power of family that you truly have to see…to believe." 

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