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FSU’s punt protection better improve; no FBS team has blocked more attempts than Northern Illinois

Before you can cover, you have to get it away.

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Florida State Tallahasse Democrat-USA TODAY NETWORK

Punting has been an all-too-frequent conclusion to Florida State drives this season. But even when the Seminoles have had to wave the white flag following an offensive drive, they’ve not exactly executed that exchange of possession too effectively.

The ’Noles had a punt blocked for a touchdown in their opener against Virginia Tech, and a few more efforts were nearly deflected since then in a close win over Samford and a blowout loss to Syracuse. On Saturday, the Northern Illinois Huskies come calling— and they’ll most certainly be coming after FSU’s specialists.

The Huskies have one of the worst offenses in the FBS, even lowlier than that of Florida State thus far. And while NIU has a very good defense, it’ll likely look to gain an edge via special teams. And so far in 2018, it’s been as effective as any team in blocking punts/kicks from the opposition, and against solid competition.

Northern Illinois has lost at Iowa, dropped a tight home game to Utah, and defeated Central Michigan in DeKalb, IL. Through those games, they blocked a pair of punts and a field goal. No other team in the FBS has blocked more kicks than the Huskies; only Rutgers, Temple, and Florida can claim a trio of blocks.