2018 College Football Playoff National Championship Game Preview Series: Alabama Special Teams

Written by Brian Pohl
Atlanta, GA – In a game featuring two very talented teams, special teams could be the deciding factor between winning and losing a national championship. Here we will take a closer look at the Alabama Crimson tide special teams led by coordinator Joe Pannunzio heading into the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship.

Alabama’s biggest strength on special teams has to be their punt team. Led by Senior JK Scott, the Crimson Tide boast one of the strongest punt teams in the nation. Scott was a finalist for the Ray Guy Award, which is given to the nation’s top punter every season. He has averaged 42-yards per punt and has placed just over 52% of his punts inside the 25-yard line, which leads the nation. The Senior has had a great career at Alabama and will suit up one final time for the College Football Playoff National Championship, his third career appearance in the game.

The kicking game for Alabama has been inconsistent at times this season, as the Crimson Tide have made 17 of their 24 attempts. The kicking duties for the Tide fall under two different players, as Alabama uses different kickers for short and long distances. The short-range kicker for the 2017 season has been Senior Andy Pappanastos, who has hit 16 of his 21 field goal attempts on the season. While the Senior has struggled with consistency, he has hit all 54 extra-point attempts on the year. The long-range duties go to JK Scott, who doubles as the team’s punter this season. Scott has made one of his three attempts, making a 48-yard field goal against Ole Miss earlier in the year.

As Alabama heads into the 2018 College Football National Championship, they will look for more consistency from their kicking game than they have had throughout the season. If they can make plays when called upon, after Monday the discussion around Alabama head coach Nick Saban as one of the greatest coaches of all time will begin, as he will tie the legendary Bear Bryant with six National Championships.

Alabama will face Georgia for the College Football National Championship, as they will square off inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia at 8:00 pm Monday Night.

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