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ACC Special Teams Rankings

By Southern Pigskin Staff
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Southern Pigskin's top five ACC special teams units for 2018.

1. Florida State: The Seminoles are poised to be one of the best in the country on special teams, boasting a top-level kicker in Ricky Aguayo, also bringing back punter Logan Tyler and dynamic return specialist D.J. Matthews. Aguayo has made an impressive total of 37 field goals through his freshman and sophomore seasons. He is fresh off an 18-of-21 effort. Matthews averaged over eleven yards per punt return a year ago. Additionally, Florida State tied for the league lead with six blocks.

2. Louisville: Kicker and punter are positions of strength for the Cardinals. Blanton Creque has been remarkably efficient as he readies for year number three, notably converting 33-of-39 field goals to date. Creque has made at least three kicks in five different games throughout his career and has only missed three field goals each of the last two seasons. Punter Mason King, with an average of 43.9 yards per boot last season, has the ability to impact games by flipping field position.

3. North Carolina: Playmaking return man Anthony Ratliff-Williams ranked second in all of college football with 895 kick return yards last season. He scored twice, making house calls against both Louisville and Pittsburgh. Tom Sheldon is a special teams weapon, one of the top punters in the game. Hunter Lent is a good one, too. Sheldon averaged 45.8 yards per attempt as a sophomore. Kicker Freeman Jones made 9-of-14 field goals a year ago.

4. Syracuse: Punter Sterling Hofrichter, who can also kick field goals and will get a full-time shot to do both, is quite proficient at pinning opponents deep. Correspondingly, the Orange allowed just 2.67 yards per punt return this past season, good for fourth in all of college football. The 24 total punt return yards allowed by Syracuse are the second-fewest in the ACC since 2009. For the Orange, Sean Riley has plenty of potential in the return game himself.

5. Virginia Tech: The Hokies' kick-blocking tradition continues as they recorded six blocks, tied for second in the country, last season and are always a threat there. Additionally, Virginia Tech's coverage units have been elite; the Hokies ranked eighth and 16th nationally in kick and punt return yardage allowed with just 288 and 47, respectively. Oscar Bradburn returns after a very nice freshman debut at punter.