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Scouting Ahead: Special teams edition

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The Oklahoma State special teams unit waits for the ball to come to stop. 

With Matt Ammendola returning for field goal kicking duties, and Jake McClure continuing as kick off specialist, the Oklahoma State football team's special teams shouldn't skip a beat this 

Ammendola was a reliable kicker for OSU, making 16 of 22 field goals during the 2018 season. He was solid inside 40 yards but struggled with his accuracy outside of 40 yards, only making 3 of 7 field goals. Look for Ammendola to be rock solid again in his senior season this fall.

There are a couple of questions that surround the OSU special teams, like who will emerge as the starting punter and who will take over the kickoff and punt return duties.

Look for a freshman from Australia to become the starting punter. At 28 years old and married, Tom Hutton is not your normal freshman punter. Hutton played Australian football for a couple years and is relatively unknown, but impressed at the spring game in April.

There are plenty of candidates for punt returner, but the front runners have to be Dillon Stoner or Tylan Wallace. Stoner has been reliable as a punt returner, he does not try to do too much on a return if he does not have room to. The only problem with Stoner is his judgment for catching a punt off the bounce, which is a risky play in general.

Tylan Wallace also can make his case, but if you put him back there to return punts you run the risk of your best player getting injured. Neither Stoner nor Wallace had a big punt return last year, but they can both catch the punt and get the offense back on the field.

There should be no question for kickoff returner because last year, Chuba Hubbard nailed that down. Hubbard was consistent in his kick return, but the kickoff coverage has to improve. If kickoff coverage can improve then Hubbard has the ability to make some noise and impact the game with big returns.

Someone else to look for to return kickoffs is Landon Wolf. Wolf has the speed to impact the game the same way Hubbard can. Wolf is quick in the secondary and can out run a secondary with his quick acceleration in the open field. He can also make some noise in the return game if he gets the blocks he needs, similar to Hubbard.

In the last couple years, the return game has lacked that player who can do some damage, but this upcoming year, with the speed OSU has, they could finally make that special teams play that ultimately can decide a big game.

Stoner, Hubbard, Wolf and Wallace's speed can make a difference in a crucial game in the return game week after week.

OSU's special teams is going to have the experience this year to  help the team win week after week. With this veteran experience in the special teams category, the only question for them is who is going to be the punter this fall.

 sports.ed@ocolly.com