CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - It’s sometimes the forgotten phase in football.
But for Coastal Carolina, special teams will be key in 2020 as the team aims to overcome a number of tight losses from last season.
CCU’s kicking unit is led by placekicker Massimo Biscardi. He enters his junior campaign with a career field goal percentage of 77 and a career-long of 53 yards which is a school record.
“He’s a big piece of it,” said Coastal Carolina Football Head Coach Jamey Chadwell. “When he’s doing well from a kickoff, field goal, and extra point standpoint it gives the coaches and team so much confidence that if you’re down there that’s an automatic three which is good.”
“One of the things that I think of is one for one. After the first kick, you’re one for one and you just move on to the next kick no matter what,” said Biscardi. “Obviously you’re going to miss sometimes but you have to have a short mind and put that to the side and get the next rep whenever you can. You only get so many opportunities in a season so you have to make them count.”
“Massimo’s biggest enemy is Massimo,” Chadwell added. “If something doesn’t go right he gets frustrated a little bit but when he’s right he’s as good as anybody in this country and we believe that. He’s going to be a big piece for us if we’re going to have the chance to win some close games.”
Of course, in 2019, the Chants had five losses decided by a combined 24 points with three coming by 3 points or fewer. Chadwell feels Biscardi will be pivotal in helping close that gap.
“We feel like we’re closing the gap at least talent-wise,” Chadwell admitted. “We still have a year or so to go but we feel like we’re closing that. The way you close that gap is the way you play on special teams and if you can you steal some wins on those things. We made improvements there last year but that’s going to be a big piece this year and he’s a huge key for us if we’re going to have success.”
Competing for the team’s punting duties is Myles Prosser, who was recently named to the watch list for the Ray Guy Award, and redshirt freshman Kieran Colahan. Chadwell feels Prosser’s preseason honor will bring the best out of both punters.
“Anytime you feel like you have two guys that are capable of punting and punting is usually important when you pin people down and back them up,” said Chadwell. “We feel pretty confident in the punters we have competing for the job right now that they can go out and do a good job for us.”