Minnesota's dire special teams situation 'unlike anything' P.J. Fleck has seen
For Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck, Saturday’s game against Michigan was going to be tough enough. But Fleck had to deal with a number of players out for the season opener, including both his kicking positions.
Joining tackle Daniel Faalele, guard Curtis Dunlap, Jr., starting linebacker Barelen Oliver and reserve defensive back Phillip Howard on the injured list, were starting kicker Michael Lantz and punter Mark Crawford. Kickoff specialist Dragan Kesich was also unavailable.
With the special teams units starting at a distinct advantage, Fleck reflected on the unique nature of the situation at hand.
“I will say this situation is unique. I’ve never seen anything like [it] in my life,” said Fleck according to the Twin Cities Pionner Press. “Usually those are the guys (specialists) who don’t get hurt. They have no contact in practices and games and usually you can scale down to get them ready for game day. When they all get taken from you, it’s unique and that makes decision making a little bit different.”
“I’m not going to get into specifics into why they missed the game; you can probably imagine, it kind of hit the specialists pretty hard, and it hit them at different times.”
Minnesota is in action again on Saturday, taking on Maryland.