It is pretty evident that the week 0 matchup against Florida around the corner.
During todays viewing portion of practice, the Hurricanes gave us virtually no competitive matchups to analyze, so let’s talk about what really matters — special teams.
The Hurricanes ranked 117th in the nation in net punting in 2018, averaging 34.48 yards per attempt. They also did not have an eligible punter to list on the official NCAA stats for the year.
Consistently losing the field position battle put the Hurricanes in bad positions time and time again.
A 22-yard punt gave LSU good enough field position to nail a 43-yard field goal to open scoring after a strong defensive showing.
A 34-yard punt put them in solid position early in the opener last year, which resulted in a touchdown. Theres examples of this trend time and time again throughout the season.
That, however, is about to change. Louis Hedley is bringing a strong and precise leg that changes the game. The quarterbacks and the offense as a whole are the talk of camp, but we saw last year how vital a punter is to the outcome of a football game.
The difference between a team starting at the 40 and locking them up inside the 10-yard line with an entire field to march down is invaluable.
Here he is booming a punt at practice today.
Lou Headley out here pinning punts inside the 5 pic.twitter.com/QBNgcQL28T— Gaboowins (@GabyUrrutia22) August 8, 2019
If you listen closely, you'll hear a member of the staff feel pretty good about the punt. And his attempt just after this one sat inside the 10. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more impactful newcomer to the 2019 Hurricanes than the Australian punter out of the City College of San Francisco.
Mark Pope, Jeff Thomas, and Deejay Dallas were back returning punts and KJ Osborn was being used as a “missile.”
In other news, neither Bubba Bolden nor Jaelen Phillips were seen at practice today, but both were added to the official Miami Hurricanes roster.
**Update: Bubba Bolden was just seen leaving the facility on a golf cart, so he’s around the team.