Blair Walsh is flanked by ten players when he kicks the ball. We all hope he boots it through the end-zone, but it cannot be expected every time, especially following a penalty. We have to have players capable of getting downfield, maintaining their lanes and tackling the ball carrier.
Against South Carolina we had three great returns. Those returns may have been the difference in the game. Since that time, we have lost the special teams battle. We are losing untold yards in special teams due to our lack of returns in both the kicking and punting games due to our inability to muster returns and tackle the opponent.
The problem is not new and must be addressed. Special teams is not a time for rest.
Blocking has been inadequate, but the scheme has been flawed as well. The running backs must have patience to find the hole, but the coaching staff must have patience to let the running game gel. The spread formation is not the answer. Joe Cox is not a running threat. Let's get back in the "I" formation and pound the football, use the play-action pass and pound the football some more.
We may not start the game on fire running it, but it will come. With more running attempts the line will block better and the backs will find a rhythm. The defense will surely benefit from a ground attack that chews up clock and doesn't produce so many three and outs deep in our territory.
The big play has often been a killer this year. Okie State, Arkansas and Arizona State prior to LSU. The position is called "safety" for a reason. We must stop allowing opponents to get behind us. If a player refuses to play his responsibility, get someone else in there. You cannot simply say someone is going to play more, you have to play them. Who knows, a few series on the sidelines may help to teach the player what he needs to do.