The first week of college football isn’t over yet, but one thing is apparent: Good teams have good special teams. Great teams have great special teams.We don’t know how good the Gamecocks special teams are at this point in the season, but things aren’t looking too good right now on that front.
The kickoff specialist, Landon Ard, booted the first kickoff through the end zone, but after that he never got it close to the goal line. Even though a new rule states touch-backs on kickoffs come out to the 25, a good team has to have a guy that can get those touch backs.
Vanderbilt started off way to close to (or in) Gamecocks territory on Thursday, and most of their scores were the result of good field position.
If Ard can get 65-70 percent of his kicks into the end zone it will help South Carolina’s great defense and turn field position towards the Gamecocks favor.
One thing that is apparent, though, is Carolina hasn’t figured out its punting situation. Sophomore Tyler Hull had six punts and averaged just 39 yards per. Honestly, that’s pathetic. One reason LSU, Alabama and Georgia are good year in and year out is their special teams and all of those tams have had solid punters in years past.
Carolina didn’t get to return a kickoff (no coincidence they only scored 17 points), and Ace Sanders really didn’t have much room to work with in the punt return game, so that area of SC’s special teams won’t come to light as a strength or weakness until next weekend.
Again, it’s just the first week of the year, but the Gamecocks will not win an SEC title with a kicker who only gets the ball into the end zone once a game and a punter who averages less than 40 yards a punt.