The second half of our recap will take a look at the highs and lows of this season for Miami’s special teams. Along with an outlook for 2018.
Highlight: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Michael Badgley hit two field goals and the kickoff and punt coverage teams had a lot of big hits and exciting plays that provided an added spark to the Miami sideline. In addition Braxton Berrios made several good decisions on punt returns, and didn’t get caught trying to make a big play only to have it go the other way. This was crucial to ensuring Miami secured a huge lead on the Irish, and didn’t let UND back into the game.
Lowlight: Wisconsin Badgers
Michael Badgley struggled big time in this game, and missed two field goals, a rarity for him. The first miss was extremely long, and was a difficult kick for anyone to make. However the second miss was inexcusable, and essentially ended the game. In addition, the coverage teams were pretty poor in coverage, and the return teams had almost no blocking, and couldn’t provide a much needed big return. It was a very disappointing performance for this group, and a bitter end to an otherwise great career for Michael Badgley.
Michael Badgley graduates, but he is replaced by the #1 kicker in America, Bubba Baxa. Baxa has extremely big shoes to fill, but Miami couldn’t have recruited a better player to attempt to fill them. In addition, the Hurricanes lose longtime punt returner Braxton Berrios. It will be a very interesting competition to see who replaces Berrios. Deejay Dallas and Jeff Thomas will certainly be contenders to replace Berrios, but several players will be looked at to fill the spot. In addition, punter Zach Feagles will look to find consistency, and Miami will try to find better blocking for their return teams, which I would say is Miami’s biggest weakness on special teams.