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Baylor Football

Baylor special teams look to repeat Temple's success with Rhule

August 8, 2017
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Most football talk revolves around only two-thirds of the team. Hall of Fame coach George Allen believed in a model that football was equal parts offense, defense, and special teams. That last one is often off radars.

In the Big 12, it seems talk about special teams is reserved for gaffes like an embarrassing fumbled punt that cost Texas a game against Oklahoma State. Closer to home, Baylor crowned Chris Callahan king one week after a game-winning kick against TCU and later crucified him for hitting just 67 percent of his career kicks.

Matt Rhule's philosophy falls in line with Allen. He looks to get the ball rolling the right direction, recognizing the pains Baylor has had on special teams. They were crucial elements to Rhule’s success with Temple.

“We did it at a high level at the last school. We expect with the athletes we have here, we should be able to do it,” Rhule said Tuesday. “So it’s just a matter of are they going to buy into that? It’s not an easy thing to do. It’s a tough thing. But I think guys have done that so far with their attention to detail on special teams.”

Rhule’s players in Philly certainly bought into special teams. But it did take time in some areas.

His first year in 2013, the Owls tied last in the AAC with two blocked kicks and punts. The next three years, the punt return team led the conference with a combined 17 blocked kicks and punts. Baylor has not blocked any kick since 2015. Rhule said he believes that streak ends this year with the talent that’s been shown in practice.

As for how Baylor’s own kicking team, that’s a team of one named Drew Galitz. The junior has been tasked with working as both the kickoff man, punter and field goal kicker. Not an ideal situation for Rhule, but something he’s familiar with.”

“You don’t always love to have one guy be the kickoff, punt, and field goal guy,” Rhule said. “I’ve had it. I had Brandon McManus and he did all three. It’s just kind of different swings but at the end of the day, we gotta do what we gotta do.”

Rhule’s playing a bit coy about McManus (he recently hit a 73-yard field goal in practice with the Denver Broncos) who led the Big East in field goal percentage and average punt yards in 2012. But Galitz whose only routine work before this season was as a punter (ranked fifth in the Big 12 last season) doesn’t look to be at McManus’ levels yet.

“I think our main concern right now is our field goal units and PAT,” Rhule said. “It’s not real consistent right now. So we have to do a better job in the kicking game as far as the scoring points in the field goal units.”

While the kicking may be a work in progress, Rhule showed more enthusiasm for the return team, especially Tony Nicholson as the top return man. He’s inked in as the punt returner after ranking second in the Big 12 with 10.2 yards per return but Rhule said the kickoff returners is still a competition, adding that he believes the team should be a leader with the likes of Nicholson.

Special teams may not be as recognizable as the rest of the roster but in a transition year, any form or help be it pinning offenses inside the 10-yard line or blocking a punt inside opponent territory is helpful.
Discussion from...

Baylor special teams look to repeat Temple's success with Rhule

6,464 Views | 9 Replies | Last: 6 yr ago by McCavebear
BUGWBBear
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Glad he's paying attention to ST...they've been abysmal for years. Not getting a warm fuzzy when he mentions the inconsistency of the place kicking.....ugh....
BU84BEAR
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I'm glad too. But I didn't like the paragraph about scoring on field goals being inconsistent. Not really a surprise, but I had hoped otherwise.
BU84BEAR
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BU84BEAR said:

I'm glad too. But I didn't like the paragraph about scoring on field goals being inconsistent. Not really a surprise, but I had hoped otherwise.


BUGWBBear said:

Glad he's paying attention to ST...they've been abysmal for years. Not getting a warm fuzzy when he mentions the inconsistency of the place kicking.....ugh....


Lol, I had just skimmed your post. GMTA
BU84BEAR
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I saw some clarification in a Waco Trib article on the kicking comments. Rhule was quoted as saying that Connor Martin has been "good, but not real consistent." Then went on to say having one guy handle all the kicking (Galitz) wasn't always ideal.
McCavebear
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Glad to see the emphasis on Special Teams.
McCavebear Lives!
BU79
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Many coaches don't like a kicker doing all three due to leg fatigue. Staff was hoping that Martin would step up but he has struggled with mid range FG. BU offered one kicker earlier but he committed to Miami. They had a couple good kids at their earlier camp but so far have held off on offering another 2018. BU tweeted late for specialists to come to their last camp on the 22nd it looked like only two showed up. But one of them was very good. On snap and holds he made like 8 balls in a row and KO were about 4-5 deep. I think he is from Flower Mound Marcus.
GhettoHEBear
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Our special teams has been...well, very special over the last few years. I'm not sure how anybody expected that Rhule would turn it around in one off-season. It's going to take several years to get special teams up to snuff.
BU84BEAR
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On today's Sicem365 podcast, they werr saying that in an old regime practice, special teams was coached by a GA, and not as frequently. Now, they have been devoting more time to.it and the entire coaching staff participate.
McCavebear
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BU84BEAR said:

On today's Sicem365 podcast, they werr saying that in an old regime practice, special teams was coached by a GA, and not as frequently. Now, they have been devoting more time to.it and the entire coaching staff participate.
Much more of an emphasis on Special Teams... Baylor Diehards article:

https://www.diehards.com/baylor/matt-rhule-feel-like-special-teams-can-win-us-game-two-year
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