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Desi Cullen's Performance Will Be Key For Special Teams

Daniel DinunzioAnalyst IAugust 31, 2009

CHAPEL HILL, NC - OCTOBER 4:  Desi Cullen #13 of the Connecticut Huskies punts during the game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Kenan Stadium on October 4, 2008 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Desi Cullen is a senior captain of the 2009 UConn football team. 

He always holds the duties of punting and kicking off the ball when needed. 

Last year the Huskies had some serious protection issues when it came to 4th down and punting situations. 

Cullen 6'2", 200 lbs took a lot of heat last season, and he's determined to have a successful year as a captain of this team.

Last year the weakness in the punting game cost the Huskies when it came to the field position battle.  Not to mention that the Huskies had six punts blocked in 12 games last year.

This is one statistic that will hurt a team in many ways.

Last year in a pivotal game against North Carolina in Chapel Hill the Huskie struggled mightily.  They had three punts blocked, one which was returned for a touchdown. 

It was obvious the punt block coverage was flustered, and they had no answer for the blitzing linebackers of North Carolina.

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This is something that Cullen can't really control. 

His job is to catch the snap and punt the ball.  That's his job and he's done it better then any other punter in school history.

Coming into this season, Cullen has punted in all 26 games that he's started. 

He holds the highest average of any punter in school history booming the ball 40.3 yards.  Last season, Cullen also pinned the opponent inside the 20 yard line, 24 times. 

There's no question surrounding the ability of Cullen being able to punt or kick the ball when needed.

As long as Cullen is protected on punt coverage, his numbers should be as good if not better then ever.

Cullen is one of four team captains coming into this season.  He's teammates view him as a leader and his special teams performance will lead the way as the Huskies open up their season this Saturday at Akron 7 p.m.