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Opponent Special Teams Preview: California Golden Bears

UW faces another solid placekicker

NCAA Football: San Diego State at California John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Every Friday I write the most un-read article of the week, and mention another good opponent placekicker. UW faces five kickers on the Lou Groza watch list, and this week it’s California junior Matt Anderson. Because I get tired of converting special teams statistics into paragraph form, I asked for some help.

Here’s what boomtho from the SN Nation community California Golden Blogs had to say about the Cal Special Teams:

Let's break ST down into the distinct phases.

First FG's have been pretty good. Matt Anderson did miss a potential game-winning kick vs Oregon at the end of regulation, but besides that, he's been really good (38/38 on XP's, 14/16 on FG's).

Second, kickoffs have been... inconsistent, trending to bad. ST Coach Mark Tommerdahl has chosen to kick short a lot, due to both our kickers' inability to kick to the end zone consistently, as well as our coverage problems. This has led to a lot of opponents' drives starting in the 35-45 range. Our kickoff returns have been fine but nothing special.

Last, punting has also been not great. Dylan Klumph doesn't have the strongest leg and has shanked a couple kicks. We'll also get too cute (in my view) and try QB pooch punts occasionally, which hasn't always gone great (one of Webb's pooch kicks went for all of 11 net yards)

And a bit of insight from fellow CGB blogger atomsareenough:

Matt Anderson is a capable FG kicker, and I'm generally comfortable with him attempting kicks in key situations, but generally Cal is a team that needs to be scoring touchdowns and not kicking field goals if they can help it. I think Muhammad, Robertson, and Wharton have been returning kicks, but they haven't been doing very much. Coverage has been mostly unremarkable, but it seems pretty clear the coaches don't have much faith in the coverage units, as they've tried things like kicking short pop-up kickoffs if they fear the returner.

Depth Chart: