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OK, That Explains A Lot

Somehow I missed this N&O article on Friday about UNC kicker Connor Barth. I found the following paragraph somewhat enlightening:

Like most colleges, UNC doesn't have a specialized kicking coach on its staff. Tar Heels head coach John Bunting is in charge of the kickers, although as a former college and pro linebacker he knows more about tackles than extra points. So kickers and punters depend on individualized camps during the summer, and then other kickers and punters during the season, to keep themselves technically accurate.

I was wondering why kicking in college football is so dreadful and now I have my answer: They receive very little in the way of specialized coaching. Then again I supposed one could argue that kicking is not something you need a lot of coaching on so perhaps we shouldn't be surprised by this. It is pretty much a matter of mechanics and proper spacing. In fact I heard someone on the radio last week say that kickers routinely do a lot of kicking before the rest of the team practices. These guys are out there, practically alone, with the music blaring hitting 50 yards field goals like they are nothing. However if you put them in a game they are hooking everything they kick wide right. So while you can coach mechanics there is little anyone can do about guys who just lock up when the time comes. And while this season kicking seems to be bad it is not new. Just ask Bobby Bowden how many national titles he lost in the early nineties because his kicker could not split the uprights against Miami.

Of course words can not articulate how disturbed I am to know that John Bunting is in charge of the kickers. If that is the case I am shocked the kickers are not actually giving up points to the other team somehow.