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Iowa might ban punt returns

Kirk Ferentz AP

A few days after getting burned by a fake punt against Michigan State, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said on Tuesday that he is considering taking the drastic step of getting rid of punt returns for his team.

Ferentz says he’s leaning against sending blockers downfield to help set up returns after Iowa was burned by a fake punt in Saturday’s loss to Michigan State.

Ferentz indicated that Iowa might always keep its defense home in the future, with a returner charged simply with keeping punts from hitting the ground.

Last Saturday wasn’t the first time this year that Iowa has been caught with its pants down on a punt return. Northern Illinois also caught the Hawkeyes in the season opener.

The crazy thing about this idea by Ferentz is that Iowa is second in the nation in punt return yardage this season, mostly thanks to the efforts of wide out Kevonte Martin-Manley, who has two return TDs while ranking second nationally in return average (25.78).

So if Ferentz goes this route, he’ll be giving up a dynamic return threat in exchange for the security of never getting fooled on a fake punt. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, does it?

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14 Responses to “Iowa might ban punt returns”
  1. manik56 says: Oct 8, 2013 11:23 PM

    No it does not.

  2. bender4700 says: Oct 9, 2013 12:19 AM

    Hey, might as well earn that 4 or 5 million a year, by doing something really stupid. D’oh!

  3. John A. says: Oct 9, 2013 12:24 AM

    Here’s an idea, COACH: why don’t you COACH your players to not get burned on fake punts?

    Why not COACH your players to play the fake first before setting up any return?

    You earn millions, COACH. Do your COACHING job and COACH your players to not get burned on fake punts.

    (My gawd….. how has this guy lasted as long as he has as a head coach at all anywhere? Unbelievable.)

  4. shadowcell says: Oct 9, 2013 12:39 AM

    Ah, but this is only the start! The next step is to ban the other team from punting outside of their own five yard line.

  5. coryfor3 says: Oct 9, 2013 12:43 AM

    How about tackling someone?

  6. 11thstreetmafia says: Oct 9, 2013 2:24 AM

    Iowa made teams punt?

  7. silentcount says: Oct 9, 2013 4:45 AM

    The best way to avoid being embarrassed is to not even show up for the game. Just stay home and watch others playing football on TV. You can safely live to be 100 while wishing you were dead.

  8. thefiesty1 says: Oct 9, 2013 7:33 AM

    Send your OC out there to cover punts. It’s not any difference than his stupid bubble screens on almost every down.

  9. 10kmp says: Oct 9, 2013 9:38 AM

    I’m not affiliated with Iowa in any way (Ohio State alum), but I just cannot figure out what they’re doing here. Ferentz, seemingly widely respected among his coaching peers, has accomplished next to nothing since ’06 or so. Iowa is paying this guy 3.6 million / year… but they aren’t getting 3.6 mil worth in results. He’s been at Iowa for, what, 15 years or so? I know he shared the B1G with OSU in ’02 and I think they won a co title in ’04 or ’05 as well (?), but that’s a very thin 15 year resume to be making that kind of money. I believe, generally speaking, we get what we pay for, but in this case that isn’t true. Iowa is getting taken… and remarkably, they keep signing up for more. I just don’t get it…

  10. fatediesel says: Oct 9, 2013 11:55 AM

    @10kmp, I’m not defending Ferentz’s contract because it is truly atrocious, but Ferentz did lead Iowa to an Orange Bowl win in 2010, so you can’t say he’s done nothing since 2006. The problem is after that win Iowa’s AD gave him the huge 10-year contract which makes it virtually impossible for Iowa to fire Ferentz until probably 2018 at the earliest because there’s no way the school can afford his buyout.

  11. geodude11 says: Oct 9, 2013 12:05 PM

    It only takes 2 or 3 players to play “safe” on the return team to catch the fake punt. They’re all supposed to be watching the ball anyway. Can’t believe he]d consider eliminating one of his own threats in the kid he’s got returning punts. Common Coach, let them play.

  12. mogogo1 says: Oct 9, 2013 1:22 PM

    Just blowing smoke to motivate his players? This sounds insane.

  13. polegojim says: Oct 9, 2013 4:34 PM

    @10kmp… says: “…Ohio State alum… but I just cannot figure out what they’re doing here. ”

    Given the first part of your statement… the rest is completely understandable! ; )
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    Hard to believe… but I agree with you.

  14. charger383 says: Oct 9, 2013 8:48 PM

    this is funny

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