Gamecocks Opening Kickoff Return For 100 Yards
Special teams plays are some of the harder football plays to design and draw up. Especially when you are trying to show what happened like we do on All 22 Tuesday. However, we could not pass up the opportunity to show you the South Carolina Gamecocks’ opening kickoff return against Texas A&M this past Saturday.
This was obviously a tough pill for A&M to swallow for several reasons. First, you never want to start a game like this on the road in the SEC, regardless of who you are playing. This play set the tone for a large chunk of the game early on. It also created a frenzy with the fans in the stadium.
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The second hard thing about this is that Shane Beamer and his father Frank are find of synonymous with special teams play. You know that the A&M coaches were beating that into the players’ heads all week long. So for this to happen was not a great sign that the team bought in.
At Least 3 Things Helped This Gamecocks’ Opening Kickoff Return
From a blocking scheme aspect there are at least three fundamental things that stand out to us with this return. All three had a hand in making this the success it was. Now before we go any further, did the returner make a heckuva run? Yes. Are there multiple missed opportunities to make a play by A&M on this return? Absolutely. However, here are three things that tilt the scale in South Carolina on this Gamecocks’ opening kickoff return.
1. South Carolina Knew Who Didn’t Have To Be Blocked
Look, we are not trying to pick on anyone here, but you have heard us say out here before. You don’t have enough blockers to block everyone on a kickoff return or a punt return. Chart the coverage and see who has not or cannot make a tackle. Don’t block them. You will notice that the L2 & L3 are not blocked on this return for different reasons.
2. If Your Coverage Does Not Eat Up The Off Returner You Have Problems
Once again, this is a numbers thing. With most blocking schemes, the kickoff return coach will have the off returner check away from the return to make sure that the backside pursuit does not stop the return before it gets going. On this return, you will notice that both #91 and #12 get blocks on the return side. This allows all of the back end blockers and the returner to have great spacing on this return. Someone has to eat up at least one of these two blockers.
3. Block Their Best Coverage Player(s)
We know it sounds like common sense, but if they are covering with that one dude who ruins your day covering kicks, get him blocked. On this play, we are guessing that this player was #40 for Texas A&M. South Carolina took the return right at him because he was doubled team blocked well. They also used a look off technique on #18 from A&M. This slowed him down enough to get blocked by the Gamecocks’ end #12 who came from the other side of the field.