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Fixing South Carolina's Special Teams Issues

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A Lighter Shade of Garnet offers a few possible solutions.

Oh hai Pharoh Cooper.
Oh hai Pharoh Cooper.
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Remember last year when we had Ace Sanders returning punts and he would do stuff like this:

Well he's gone now, allegedly playing for a franchise called "The Jacksonville Jaguars".  Here's how our special teams is holding up without him:

Now of course the above is a flawed representation, because the waffle didn't technically lose yards or fumble. But suffice it to say, things are grim in the ST department. South Carolina's 13th in the SEC in kick return average despite being tied for 4th in number of returns, dead last in average punt distance (by a healthy margin) and have allowed as many 30+ yard kickoffs and punt returns as anyone in the league. Yes, we're working with small sample sizes, but the eye test alone tells you that the ST unit has thus far been the team's weakest link. After all, we saw what happened on Saturday: fumbles, poor focus, shoddy punts. At least Elliot FREISMAN's doing his part, despite the one botched PAT against Georgia.

At any rate, here are a handful of helpful suggestions for our affable special teams coordinator, Coach JoeRob. Let's make this right!

• Do not allow punt returners to bathe; referees will mistake them swatting at flies for a fair catch signal.

• Have punter Tyler Hull wear clown shoes to maximize sweet spot.

• Tell all blockers on kickoff protection scream, "WOE IS ME I'VE CONTRACTED BUBONIC PLAGUE KEEPETH THINE DISTANCE LEST YE BECOME STRICKEN" in order to create running lanes.

• Ban Shon Carson from taking selfies during returns.

• Jadeveon Clowney returning kicks. Just once. Just to see what happens.

• All kicks fielded in endzone, no matter how deep, must be downed. All kicks taken in the field of play should be lateraled to nearest sideline.

• Emphasis on fundamentals, such as the virtues of not attempting to field punts with your shoulderblades, knees, or teeth.

• Change the first lyric of the alma mater to "FOR GODSAKES / CALL A FAIR CATCH".

• Give gunners actual guns.

• See if says anywhere in the rulebook that we can't replace Tyler Hull with a short range catapult; if not, do that.

• Shame them by calling the them "Totally Forgettable Teams" until they get their act together.

• How about some sort of cross-field lateral trickeration that misdirects the coverage. I mean, what could go wrong?