Special teams big for the ‘Dawgs

The Mark Richt tenure as the head coach at Georgia has been mired with many negative perceptions, including the head man on the hot seat, discipline issues galore and inconsistencies in big games.

One thing, however, has remained constant: blocked kicks.

UGA blocked kick Under Richt, the Bulldogs have blocked more than two kicks in a season five times, including setting the program record for a single season with nine (five punts, four field goals).

“They’ve got big guys and they really push you inside on field goals,” head coach Nick Saban said. “They’ve got some good guys to come off the edge. I think they always have good scheme against how they want to try to rush you.

“And they’ve got really good team speed. That’s always helpful when you have skill guys that you can put in position to try to get free to do those kinds of things.”

So far this season, the Bulldogs have blocked four kicks: two punts, one extra point and one field goal, and have converted on those blocks for nine points.

It’s the points after those blocked kicks that are a concern for Saban and the Tide.

“Those are the kinds of things in games like this that are very, very critical that you execute well,” Saban said. “Those are huge field position type things, getting kicks blocked and everything.”

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