Today we complete our grading of the 2018 Clemson football positional units by taking a look at the Tigers’ special teams.
The 2018 Clemson football season was one to remember for the ages.
The Tigers were the first team in the modern era of College Football to finish 15-0. They won their fourth-straight ACC Championship, had a Cotton Bowl victory over No. 3 Notre Dame and defeated Alabama in the National Championship game.
It wasn’t just a game in which the Tigers won, either. They won by an impressive score of 44-16.
Today, we complete our series on grades for the Clemson football positional units. Let’s take a look at the Tigers special teams.
Special Teams Report Card:
Do you want the good or the bad first?
Well, since you’re reading, I’ll decide for you. We’ll start with the bad.
Will Spiers finished 88th in the country punting average (39.7 yards per punt). Luckily for the Tigers, though, punting really wasn’t ever an important part of any game.
Clemson took care of business in the playoff game against Notre Dame and against Bama in the National Championship game. While Spiers was inconsistent and had several punts go off the side of his foot, you also have to give him a little credit.
His best game of the season, in my opinion, came in the National Championship on the biggest stage of them all. Spiers blasted the first punt of the game on the first drive 51 yards. He also had a punt for 44 yards early in the fourth quarter while punting from his own 8-yard line.
Still, though, you can’t neglect the fact that the punting was inconsistent all season. The field goal kicking was also an inconsistent facet of the game. Greg Huegel hit on 68.8 percent (11-of-16) of his field goal attempts, finishing 82nd in the nation.
The Tigers had dynamic returners in Derion Kendrick and Amari Rodgers, but you never really saw them break off huge runs, either.
The best part of the special teams? BT Potter on kickoffs.
Potter was able to boom the ball into the end zone all season long and force opposing teams to settle for touch backs. Potter’s ability to kick the ball through the end zone gave the defense confidence knowing that they’d be starting at the 25 every time and kept the opponent from gaining any type of momentum.
Overall Grade: C