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SECOND QUARTER GRADES: Special Teams

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Grade: C-

First Quarter Grade: C

Stats:

Punting No. Yards Avg. Long TB FC I20 50+ Blkd
Reid Forrest 25 1072 42.88 65 0 5 5 2 0

Placekicking FG M/A Long XP M/A
Nico Grasu 0/1 N/A 2/4

Kickoffs No. Yards Avg. TB OB
Nico Grasu 7 371 53.0 0 0

Kick Returns No. Yards Avg. TD Long
Marcus Richmond 6 99 16.5 0 25
Carl Winston 5 68 13.6 0 24
Daniel Simmons 3 75 25.0 0 33
Chris Prummer 1 8 8.0 0 8

Punt Returns No. Yards Avg. TD Long
Gino Simone 3 27 9.0 0 19
Jeffrey Solomon 2 3 1.5 0 3

Comments: Reid Forrest is our shining star. He was Grady's first half MVP, he is the best punter in the Pac 10 and one of the top in the country. He does it all, from booming 50+ punts to change field position, to pinning opponents deep in their own territory with precision, to leading the team in rushing for a single game. If the grade was only up to him he would get an A++++++.

Too bad there are other special teams units too. Kickoffs coverage has done alright. Grasu's kickoff average is brought down by an onside kick against USC. Kickoff returns have been atrocious. Averaging less than twenty yards per return is not going to cut it. The Cougar offense struggles to move down the field and it doesn't help when they to consistently start deep in their own territory.

Apparently the kickoff duties have worn Grasu out when it comes to putting the ball through the uprights. Nico made just 2 out of 4 extra point attempts in the second quarter and missed his only field goal attempt. These are small sample sizes, but extra points should rarely be missed. If someone has the leg to get it there, there is huge margin for error. These missed kicks have been extremely disheartening. Most notably against USC, where Jeff Tuel led the Cougs on clock-eating drive late in the first half only to have Nico shank the field goal try. If the Cougs are going to upset someone in the second half of the season, Nico needs to make good on every opportunity he gets.

What can be improved: Make field goals and extra points. Make more plays in the return game.

Reid Forrest for Heisman.