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Richmond Vs. NC State Highlights, Plus Nik Sade Appreciation

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports


(Nevermind what this dude implies in mentioning Doeren's decision not to go for two midway through the third quarter.)

I don't know what Nik Sade did during the offseason, but holy hell, he's an entirely different player. So far he looks like the best kicker in the conference, and one of the best in the country--only one other kicker has made seven field goals this season, and no one has started better than 5-for-5.

Thirteen of his 15 kickoffs have gone for touchbacks (86.7%). Last year, his touchback percentage was 60.3% (excluding onside kick attempts). I'll take 13 touchbacks for every 15 kicks every time, even if the opponent gets to start at the 25 after each touchback. This takes some uncertainty and wild swings out of the game, which is fine by me. Especially since the coverage team could be less than reliable in recent seasons.

After Sade nailed the eventual game-winner against Richmond, I was worried about the time on the clock but I also assumed the Spiders wouldn't get a chance to return the kickoff, and that cut off one potential avenue for NC State things to happen. They almost happened anyway, but then, of course they did. (Let's not hop into the hail mary prevent defense a play too soon next time, okay, guys? I don't like near-death experiences.)

Anyway, point is, if he can keep up the kickoff distance, he's going to free us from a lot of worry this season. And also if he wants to keep making 100% of his field goals, that's cool too.