Inside the numbers, special teams: Field goals and final rankings

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Today we’ll take our final look at special teams by focusing on field goals, and then determine the best and worst special teams seasons in the ACC era.

Field goal kicking drops off a cliff in 2013

You already know this, but Virginia Tech’s field goal kicking in 2013 was awful.  Especially when you compare it to past seasons.

2010: 95.5%
2006: 90%
2009: 87%
2005: 86.4%
2007: 80.8%
2012: 80%
2008: 79.3%
2004: 77.8%
2011: 72%
2013: 57.7%

Yikes.  Virginia Tech was bad last year. The Hokies were 15-of-26 on field goals. Tech’s 57.7% was 111th out of 125 teams per, and the 11 misses were second-most in the country last year (Northern Illinois missed 12, going 20-of-32).

Even in a down year, usually you can count on at least three out of every four field goal attempts going through the uprights.  This past season, barely half went through.  Cody Journell was a knucklehead when he was at Tech, but at least he was a knucklehead who could kick.  In 2013, he was just a knucklehead.

Let’s break down Tech’s missed field goals by game:

ECU: 2 (W, 15-10))
Marshall: 3 (W, 29-21)
GT: 1 (W, 17-10)
Pitt: 1 (W, 19-9)
Duke: 2 (L, 13-10)
Maryland: 1 (L, 27-24)

The Hokies missed a ton of field goals early in the season, and fortunately it didn’t cost them