The likelihood of Nebraska getting more touchbacks next season from kicker Brett Maher (or Mauro Bondi) just increased with the NCAA signing off on a rule change that will have college football teams kicking off from the 35-yard line instead of the 30.
The change was approved by the NCAA playing rules oversight panel, with an eye toward safety. The NFL made the same change to its rules last season.
Also of note:
>> Touchbacks will now result in teams starting from the 25-yard line rather than the 20.
>> The running starts by players on kick coverage will now be limited to 5 yards.
Maher was already pretty good on kickoffs for NU, registering touchbacks on 20 of 72 kickoffs in 2011. Only Purdue had more in the Big Ten with 24.
Think about what this would have done for former Husker kicker Adi Kunalic. He logged 28, 29, 29 and 39 while handling NU kickoffs from 2007 through 2010.
What’s everybody make of this? Does it penalize teams that have a kicker with a big leg and help those that don’t? Will it lead to “pooch” or “squib” kicks, thus negating the safety efforts?
Something to watch in 2012.