June 17, 2014 - by
Florida State vs. Oklahoma – Special Teams Notes – Florida State University

Florida State vs. Oklahoma – Special Teams Notes – Florida State University


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Florida State vs. Oklahoma - Special Teams Notes

Reid off to the races 
The goal for Samford's special teams unit was to keep the ball away from No. 5 Greg Reid. After being successful at their plan for most of the afternoon, the Bulldogs allowed the nation's top punt returner to field one punt, and the rest was history. With 8:17 remaining in the second quarter, Reid fielded a punt toward the right sideline at the FSU 26 and scampered for a 74-yard touchdown, tying for the 12th-longest return in school history. It was the second career punt-return touchdown for the Valdosta, Ga., native, who also had a 68-yard TD return last season against Wake Forest. 
No punting for Powell 
Junior punter Shawn Powell is ready for a big season with the Seminoles, as the 6-foot-4, 235-pound specialist has his sights set on the Ray Guy Award. However, Powell will wait for his chance to get on the field in week two after not registering a punt in FSU's 59-6 win over Sam-ford. It is the first time the Seminoles have not punted in a game since Nov. 7, 1992, when they defeated Maryland 69-21 on Homecoming Day. 
Touchback territory 
Sophomore kicker Dustin Hopkins showed off his booming leg in FSU's season-opening win, recording six touchbacks in 10 kickoff attempts. The Houston, Texas, native totaled 68.2 yards per kickoff, as well as 47.2 net yards. Hopkins prevented Samford from gaining advantageous field position, as the Bulldogs started on their 21-yard line on average. In all seven of his kickoffs reached the end zone and an eighth reached the 1-yard line as Hopkins averaged 4.2 seconds of hang time. He also connected on all eight point-after attempts, and made his only field goal attempt (24 yards) to finish with 11 points. 
Special teams were just that - special 
Florida State's special teams units got off to an auspicious beginning last weekend against Samford. Perhaps the most impressive aspects were the punt return and punt block units. Aside from Reid's 74-yard touchdown return on his first touch of the season, FSU also registered a punt block at Samford's 16-yard line by tailback Chris Thompson, which was recovered by safety Terrance Parks. The turnover led to an FSU touchdown two plays later. Thompson's big play was FSU's first blocked punt since the 2008 season, when former standout Dekoda Watson blocked one against Colorado on Sept. 27, 2008, in a 39-21 victory 
Hopkins' hot start 
In many cases, the most pressure-packed position in football is the place kicker. Should FSU need to rely on the leg of Dustin Hopkins, chances are the outcome will be favorable for the Seminoles. In his young career, Hopkins is 20 of 28 in field goal attempts, making nearly 72 percent of his tries. Although he does not yet qualify for the school's career list, his field goal percentage would put him in fourth place behind Seminole greats Sebastian Janikowski, Gary Cismesia and Xavier Bietia. Hopkins is already tied for 12th on the school's single-game list for longest field goals, nailing a 52-yard attempt in last year's season-opener versus Miami. 
A new Block Party begins 
Special teams coordinator Eddie Gran is widely regarded as one of the best in the business, and his units got off to a great start in the 2010 opener. Chris Thompson's second quarter blocked punt against Samford set up a touchdown and continued FSU's long-standing reputation as one of the most dangerous programs in the nation when it comes to blocking kicks. Throughout Bobby Bowden's tenure (1976-2009) the Seminoles combined for 128 blocked punts and kicks, often coming at the most opportune time. 

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