An update on Arkansas' kicking game

So good to read about this, and it seems to final have a coach who realizes just how important this is to the total game. I still remember losing a great game to MSU because a linemen had not been coached on which way to block on a FG. The foot in football goes a long way toward a W or L.

Absolutely, with the focused and high level coaching we are now placing on this segment
of a football game, we will win some games we would usually lose.

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Frank won his first SWC Championship (I know - 1959 but still) with little more than Bambi and the Quick Kick plus great coaching.

Agree. Good kicking game is a must for Arkansas. It can help overcome a talent gap.


Yes, field position was a big deal in those days. Can you imagine the fans reaction these days for a team to kick on third down?

Jim Mooty was an All-American in '59 and led the team in scoring with 5 TDs as well as in rushing. Alworth wasn’t. But the D was what carried us, giving up only 242 yards per game. Other than allowing 28 points to the Rebnecks the day my parents got married (my dad was on that '59 team), we never allowed more than 14 points all year.

Alworth led the NCAA in punt return yards in 60 and 61. But he also was a good punt return man in 59 and led the team in that category. Mooty led the team in kickoff return in 59.

As far as punt return averages, these numbers are telling. The top UA punt return man between 1959 and 1970 averaged 9.4, 17.1, 12.0, 28.6 (note, Ken Hatfield averaged 28.3 and George Walker averaged 28.6, both on 7 returns in 1962), 16.7, 16.7, 13.6, 15.6, 10.4, 10.2, 23.3 and 12.8.

The numbers fell in dramatic fashion after 1970. The best after that was 1991 with Michael James averaging 14.3.

One thing to note, there was a lot of fair catching done in that string between 1970 and 1991. The exception came in 1985 when Bobby Joe Edmonds returned 40 for and 11.7 average. Those 40 returns is the school record.

Joe Adams averaged 16.89 on 19 returns in 2011.

The school record for average is 18.31 by Johnny Cole in 1950 with a minimum of 15 required. Aubrey Fowler averaged 17.17 in '47. Alworth’s 17.06 in '60 is next. Again, min of 15 required.

I am really pleased with the concentration on all areas within special teams. ST should not be the weak step child to the other two disciplines.

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Certainly thought about Jim Mooty after the OP. He was one of my very early heroes. Really he was more so to me than was Alworth. Still, the point was that the kicking game played a very significant role for that team. That could be said for all of Frank’s teams. Remember the 4 don’t of the kicking game?

I would love to see the other team punting WITH the wind because it meant we had a good chance at setting up a return.

I do agree that Frank emphasized the kicking game, sometimes to his detriment (the infamous pooch punt, against Baylor I think). I think James Monroe led the '59 team in passing with like 200 yards and 3 TD passes for the season; that’s barely a good quarter now. But certainly improved passing has reduced the need for things like quick kicks.

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