Special Teams Improved Slightly
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Clemson's special teams were a little better Saturday,
but were by no means spectacular.
The kick coverage teams allowed a total of 72 yards on three kickoffs and 29
yards on three punt returns. But 27 of the punt return yards came on one play
by Marcus Hagans, who returned a 39-yard Wynn Kopp punt to the Clemson 29 in
the second quarter.
Virginia later scored on the short drive, getting a 28-yard field goal from
Kurt Smith for a 6-3 lead.
Kopp didn't drop any snaps, such as the one which led to a Florida State
touchdown in the previous game, but he continues to struggle with his kicking
distance. The left-footed senior averaged just 31.1 yards on six punts,
including kicks of 25, 27 and 28 yards.
Meanwhile, Virginia's special teams put the clamps on Clemson return man
Hamilton averaged just over 17 yards on six kickoff returns and 7.5 yards on
two punt returns.
"I thought our special teams were magnificent today against a dynamic return
man," said Virginia head coach Al Groh. "We certainly put a great deal of
emphasis on it. They deserve a lot of credit."