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To Return or Not to Return?

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As you will see this fall, the NCAA has changed the kickoff rules to encourage more touchbacks and fewer returns in an effort to avoid the serious injuries caused by the violent full-speed collisions.

The kickoff spot has been moved up from the 30 to the 35-yard line.  And, touchbacks will be brought out to the 25 instead of the 20.

Lee-KOReturn-UW-PC.jpgUSC special teams coach John Baxter has several dangerous returners at his disposal, including Robert Woods and Marqise Lee, who have kickoff return touchdowns on their Trojan resumes.  However, he will spend some time this offseason doing the math on whether or not it is worth it to bring the return out of the end zone.

"The new rules in college football are going to make it really interesting," said Baxter.  "Do you run them out of the end zone or not?  I don't know.  We'll see."

The rule change could be a boon for USC defensively.  Under Baxter, the Trojans have not allowed a punt return for a touchdown, but they have given up three kickoff returns for touchdowns.

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