Friday, September 4, 2009

2009 Michigan Football Season Preview: Special Teams

I'll start with the positive:

Zoltan Mesko and his 43 yard punting average will make him the Ray Guy Award winner.

Now for the questionable:

#92 Jason Olesnavage, a 6'6" walk on is going to be the kicker. In practice he has been very good lately knocking every field goal through the uprights backing up to around 50 yard range. But that was practice. We'll have to see how he handles the pressure of a big game. Behind him is RS Junior #43 Bryan Wright who has a heck of a leg, but wildly inconsistent accuracy. Tied with him for the backup spot is true freshman #34 Brendan Gibbons from Florida. Gibbons was Rodriguez's scholarship guy. He's from Florida and is a more accurate kicker than Wright. If Olesnavage struggles then Gibbons will probably take his place. I actually expect Olesnavage to do just fine from what I've seen of him in practice. Bryan Wright will handle kickoff duties which should work out well with his strong leg.

Now for the obvious:

Odoms, Mathews, and Terrence Robinson are slated to return punts and they are in that order on the depth chart. Odoms could be dangerous if he HELD ONTO THE BALL.

Cissoko, Odoms, and Grady are on the depth chart to return kicks and they are in that order on the depth chart. All could be dangerous if they HELD ONTO THE BALL.

Simply catching the ball will be a huge step up from last year when Michigan put the ball on the turf an astounding 38 times. Catch the damn ball.

Preseason Grade: B-
; Zoltan is saving this because it is so hard to put last season's disaster of returning kicks out of my mind.

For our predictions on the season, check out our football season podcast to be posted shortly by Jeremy.

Go Blue!

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