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Post by SonomaCat » Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:48 pm

In the game this weekend, the punting game was really good at times, and kind of ugly at others. I assume the one really ugly one was intended to be a fake, and the net punt that we did get was almost a blessing (and quite a play just to get it off).

However, using Lulay at punter, it seems like it works really well if he can keep it away from the returner. If they catch it on the fly, though, it can backfire.

In the stands, there was talk by several different people wondering why MSU didn't have someone who could just boot the ball. Then, later in the game, Cochrane came in and sailed a beautiful punt about 60 yards. I didn't know he could do that. Unfortunately, they got a good return out of it.

So, going forward, what do you think the Cats should do in terms of punting? If we are really deep in our own territory (a place where we would rarely, if ever, even try to fake it... again), do they just have Cochrane boot it deep conventionally, and still have Lulay do the roller nearer the middle of the field? I like the unpredictable nature of have Lulay back there, but I am a lot happier also knowing that we have someone who can boom it if we ever need it in Cochrane.

This might also sound a little desperately optimistic, but Cochrane did look really good on the FG... except for the fact that it missed to one side. The ball got up quick, had a nice rotation to it, and it was booted really deep. If he would have backed up 20 yards and kicked it exactly the same, it would have been good.

Until we finally have that first successful FG, we have to go for these tiny moral victories.

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Post by jagur1 » Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:56 pm

It's all fun and games until TL (Koolaid :D ) breaks a leg on a punt attempt and is left rolling on the field until they cart him off. If you've got a punter use him. Sides Kramer only uses the fake against teams the cats will beat anyways.

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Post by beartrainer » Mon Sep 27, 2004 3:05 pm

I really like Having Lulay back there also, it sure keeps them on their toes. However, Cochrane can be utilized also. In all my infinate wisdom I would let Lulay go about 50% of the time, when we are around the 50 yard line or in our own territory, and once in a while when it is 4th and short . It is pretty tough to stop a little naked screen with the end releasing when the defense is in punt return formation, especially when you do it on the left side, because they ussually over load the right side with the way Travis punts. Again this is in my own perfect world this would work perfect everytime. Of vourse by that theory we would never punt and since we can't kick field goals as of yet, we score a TD every time we had the ball and be averaging about 65 points per game.

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Post by kmax » Mon Sep 27, 2004 3:06 pm

I said it in the pre-season and I will say it again, I like the rugby style punt from Lulay when we around midfield or further, but I would much rather see them have someone boot it away if we are any deeper in our own territory. That was nice to see Cochrane boot one, however if he can consistently boot them that far, we will need to work a bit more on punt coverage as it is quite different to cover that than Lulay's rugby style kicks.

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Post by WYCAT » Mon Sep 27, 2004 3:17 pm

Good comment about the coverage required for each style of punting. I think that was why CSU had a good return. I really liked the punt of EJ but he probably won't do that every time. I predict we will see some of each from here out mostly dictated by field position. You have to let Travis punt some though to make any fakes believable. As far as him getting injured, I am not too worried about that. Punting is a lot safer than quarterbacking and they can't catch him doing that.

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Post by kmax » Mon Sep 27, 2004 3:34 pm

Interesting thought about the chance of injury though. I was talking with my Dad this weekend who had just attended the Billings West/Billings Senior(I believe) game and he was saying that the Senior punter(again I think that is who it was) punted in the same rollout rugby style. Anyway, at one point he got clobbered while punting and initially the refs called roughing the kicker, until the opposing coach argued and pointed out that as soon as he rolled out he was fair game. Don't know if that is truly in the rules or not, but it seems to make sense and definately could open Travis up to more injury than a normal punting style would.

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Post by CARDIAC_CATS » Mon Sep 27, 2004 3:52 pm

Aside from Lulay getting injuried I totally like the roll out punting. We usually get our coverage up there quicker and the ball is much tougher to field. The punt by cochrane just shows you how a booming kick can out kick your coverage. If you watch the returner when Lulay punts it he is TOTALLY WORRIED about the bounces the ball is going to take instead of just looking up and catching it. This totally throws off the returners I think as they have 1) to worry about the bounce/timing of the catch 2) have to actually catch the ball 3) the runners who have a head start because the ball is bouncing in air. The rugby style punt is also good for fakes and keeps the defense honets I think. I think its very effective and if you look at the stats from last year and first few games this year the numbers are pretty good when you calculate in the NET average.

I also think we should do it in Bozeman ALL the time as that field is harder and the ball really bounces well. On the CSU soft sprint turf Lulay wasn't getting as much bounce I didn't think off those ones. I bet on the astro turf though he'll get a ton of bounce on it. Anyone know what type of turf Idaho State uses indoors?

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Post by MSU01 » Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:14 pm

ISU has the old green carpet-on-concrete... Lulay's punts should roll for miles on that stuff if he can keep them away from the returner.

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Post by Bleedinbluengold » Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:35 pm

Lulay might be the most effective punter in the conference. However, teams have a punter who isn't the QB for a reason.

Not sure if anyone's mentioned it yet, but isn't it true that as soon as the punter does something other than punt (like running with the ball even though he can punt anytime prior to crossing the line of scrimmage), he can be hit? So, it seems to me that Lulay could be smacked as soon as he takes off to his right, even if he punts. I don't know if this is the case with respect to penalties, or not. Maybe someone else could enlighten me.

As effective as Lulay is, I would rather have EJ punt if he can be consistent...

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Post by grizhatr » Tue Sep 28, 2004 8:02 am

I personally think that Kramer should attempt to find a soccer player to do the honors in the future. For once, since Stenerud, we could have success, especially when it comes down to the end.

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Post by Helcat72 » Tue Sep 28, 2004 7:40 pm

You can punt anytime...even after passing the line of scrimmage, although true as sopon as you run, you are fair game!

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