August 14, 2007

Facing the Best: Special Teams

It was clear from day one of the Tim Brewster era that special teams were going to be a major focus for him. Golden Gopher fans know all too well that lapses in the kicking and return game can cost you wins and cost coaches their jobs. Just like every other aspect of the game, the Big Ten is loaded with some of the best special teams players in college football including Indiana's All-American kick returner Marcus Thigpen.

Kicker:

The Best:

Wisconsin Senior Taylor Mehlhaff

Mehlhaff is a threat in both scoring and on kick offs. He led the Big Ten in points per game last year with 8.1 in all games. He was one of only three kickers in the Conference to make all of his extra points connecting on all 47 he attempted. He also hit on 15 of 20 field goal attempts. To top it off Mehlhaff is an outstanding kickoff man who had 42 touchbacks in 72 kickoff attempts.

Runner up:

Indiana Junior Austin Starr

Starr was clutch in his first year handling the field goal duties for the Hoosiers. He hit on 12 of 15 field goals and 28 of 32 extra points. His biggest moment came on a 46 yard field goal that beat the then 13th ranked Hawkeyes.

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