September 30, 2009

AU looking for answers on special teams

Jay Boulware would like to use starters on at least two special teams. But that's not an option with Auburn's lack of depth this season.

So Auburn's special teams coach has turned to what he calls the "others." It's a group of mostly walk-ons and first-year players.

"The other guys that nobody really knows on this football team and they're allowing our team to stay fresh," Boulware said. "They're allowing us an opportunity to rest a Josh Bynes, a Craig Stevens, a Neiko Thorpe. On a thin football team, they're allowing us to play guys that haven't had any snaps in college football until this year."

Those "others" have had their share of ups and downs this season. Auburn had a punt blocked against Mississippi State and still ranks near the bottom of the NCAA in several categories including kickoff returns (84th), punt returns (111th) and punt coverage (102nd).

But Boulware, who said they can't afford to put anymore veterans on special teams and still be fresh in the fourth quarter, is seeing improvement in a couple of areas.

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