Kickers’ role at practice already was a target of jokes before Boise State junior kicker Tyler Rausa suggested the specialists use an iPad at practice to refine their techniques.
“I think there were a lot of worried eyes being turned on us, but I think it’s actually worked really well for us,” Rausa said. “If there’s any little critical mistake we have, we can go back and look at it right there.”
Rausa got the idea from an article about Maryland kicker Brad Craddock, who won the Lou Groza Award last year.
Boise State coach Bryan Harsin and special teams coach Kent Riddle saw the potential.
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“They’ve got nothing but time,” Riddle said.
A member of the Boise State video crew uses the iPad to shoot the field angle on kicks. After each special teams period, the specialists (kickers, punters, long snappers) can review the footage while the offense and defense practice.
“It’s huge to have the instant feedback because everything with kicking is by a hair,” Rausa said. “Everything is so small. ... You work on (the correction) for a couple times in the net, get a feel for it and once you’re back out there you just do it.”
Harsin appreciates that Rausa has taken responsibility for his own coaching.
“He gives me inspirational information to either share with myself or for the team,” Harsin said. “He tells me what kickers need and how they should be coached. When he misses something, he coaches me up on how he missed it. If he tells me, ‘Coach, I’m good at this distance,’ I believe him, because he’s the best coach we have out there when it comes to kicking.”
Junior punter Sean Wale brings a similar approach to the group, Harsin said.
“We have two very sharp specialists that have made us better and we’re trying to do things to help those guys grow,” Harsin said.
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Boise State fans know as well as any in college football the trouble ESPN is having with games running past their allotted time. The Broncos’ game against BYU started on a different channel because the previous game didn’t finish on time — a common occurrence that could happen again this week (Arkansas-Tennessee starts at 5 p.m.; Boise State-Hawaii likely will be pushed to 8:26 p.m.).
Boise State’s four games this season have averaged 3 hours and 19 minutes. That’s 4 minutes shorter than the national average in 2014 and the same as the Mountain West’s average in 2014, according to CBSSports.com.
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Some videos from this week: