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Posted at 10:39 AM ET, 04/12/2012

Maryland’s special teams look to bounce back from sub-par season


Nick Ferrara struggled with both punting and place kicking in 2011. (John McDonnell - THE WASHINGTON POST)
Of all the Maryland football team’s disappointments last season, the struggles of the special teams units may have been most significant. Coaches have evaluated everything related to those struggles during the offseason and some changes will be made.

 There is no question that kicker Nick Ferrara’s 2011 season — when he made only 12 of 20 field goal attempts — was hampered by injury. The 2009 freshman all-American is now taking the offseason to recovery from hip surgery.

 Ferrara needs to have a big year in 2012, and he is capable of doing so. It remains to be seen if he handles all three kicking roles in the fall. Ferrara ranks ninth in program history in made field goals (30). Coach Randy Edsall believes in Ferrara as a punter and has said that Ferrara is best when he does not overthink matters.

 The return game has to – has to – improve after ranking 99th nationally in both punt and kickoff returns. Maryland has a number of options in 2012. At kick returner, Justus Pickett is back after having led the team in kick return yardage. Does one of the talented freshmen — Stefon Diggs, perhaps — return kicks? Which player would you most like to see handle kick return and punt return duties?

And what are you most concerned about and most encouraged about when it comes to Maryland’s special teams play in 2012?

By  |  10:39 AM ET, 04/12/2012

 
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