Hawkeyes might ban punt returns

Sports

October 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Everyone thought Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz was joking last weekend when he said the Hawkeyes might never return a punt again. Ferentz wasn’t kidding. Ferentz says he’s leaning against sending blockers downfield to help set up returns after Iowa was burned by a fake punt in Saturday’s loss to Michigan State. Ferentz indicated Iowa might always use a punt safe formation in the future, with a returner charged simply with keeping punts from hitting the ground.

The Hawkeyes (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten) have allowed a number of successful fake punts in recent years, including one each in losses to Northern Illinois and the Spartans this season. Iowa next plays at No. 4 Ohio State (6-0, 2-0) on Oct. 19.