There are many questions surrounding the Michigan Wolverine’s roster this season especially on defense. One unit that has zero questions is the special teams. Some may think that special teams matter very little but any Michigan fan knows that’s not true. Special teams can have a huge affect on the game. Michigan’s elite special teams unit will help the Wolverines stay atop the Big Ten.
It isn’t often that you get an award winning player to come back for another season. Jake Moody won the Lou Groza award which is given out to the best place kicker. In his four seasons, he has never missed an extra point and has hit 80% of his field goals. When he announced he was coming back for another season, Michigan fans were ecstatic. Having a reliable field goal kicker on your team opens up scoring opportunities. Too many teams have been hampered by poor field goal kicking that causes them to have to go for it on 4th down and often come away with no points. This will not be a problem for the Wolverines.
Brad Robbins is another returning starter is an elite punter. He averaged 46.3 yards per punt last season ranking very high in the country on average. Why does punting matter? Flipping field position takes a ton of pressure off of the defense. While last years defense was elite, this year’s has some question marks. Being able to put the defense in positions to succeed will help. Robbins will be able to pin opponents back in their own territory more often than not. It is also worth noting that Robbins is the placeholder for Jake Moody meaning there will be continuity there as well.
Both returners for the Wolverines return this year. Blake Corum was a standout RB but also had a kick return average of 25.3 yards. AJ Henning returned punts and had a shade under 10 yard average. This may not seem like a lot but gaining an extra 10 yards every punt could mean the difference between points and no points. On kick returns, giving your offense as short of a field as possible is always an advantage. All of these returning pieces will help the Wolverines swing games in their favor with great special teams play.
Special teams isn’t sexy. The impact may seem minimal. However, I guarantee there will be at least 2 games this season that Michigan wins because of their special teams play. The Michigan special teams unit is elite and is one of the reasons I have Michigan being on top of the Big Ten again in 2022.
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