Special Teams is one of the unsung heroes of a football team. This year’s special teams unit has a new look to it than in previous years, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Without our special teams play last year, we probably lose to West Virginia and don’t win a Big East title. This is an important special teams play you may remember…
This year Louisville isn’t blessed with a proven kicker as we were in previous years. Chris Philpott, who was 12-18 on field goals a year ago, graduated last year. This leaves the Louisville kicking game with an open slot at the kicker position. Redshirt freshman, John Wallace, who has an amazingly strong leg, is expected to be the starter. During the spring game, he tied a school record with a 52-yard field goal. While in high school, he accumulated enough field goals to be ranked 2nd overall in made field goals ever in the State of Kentucky. The down side of Wallace is that he seems to have accuracy issues. If he has struggles early in the season, look for sophomore Matthew Nakatani to be given a chance.
The punting game is also something that needs to be replaced. During the spring, Ryan Johnson took most of the snaps and handled most of the punting duty. Johnson is a redshirt sophomore out of DeSales High School in Louisville. Look for him to also be closely followed by freshman, Josh Appleby. Appleby was highly recruited out of high school, and was offered a scholarship to Louisville. Getting a scholarship offer for punting is impressive because not many schools give scholarships for punters. If you would like to know more about Appleby, he apparently has his own website, http://joshuaappleby.com/
The return duties this year will most likely be from Adrian Bushell, Corvin Lamb, Senorise Perry, and Jeremy Wright. Bushell was the biggest contributor on special teams last year, highlighted by his 100 yard kick-off return for a touchdown versus Connecticut. Bushell averaged 30.7 yards per return last year and was also the one who got his hands on and blocked the field goal against West Virginia, which Andrew Johnson famously took back for a touchdown. Wright and Perry were no slouch in the return game either. Perry averaged 26.2 yards per return last year, while Wright averaged 23.6 yards per return. Look for Charles Gaines and Scott Radcliff to make contributions in the return game also.
Filed Under: Uncategorized
About the Author: