This is the final part of a six part season preview of the Villanova football team, each part focusing on a different position group.
In the past few seasons, Villanova has been a powerhouse on special teams. Not only have they done well in the kicking game, but they have had outstanding coverage teams and return units. You can expect that starters and key contributors usually have regular roles on return units and coverage teams if they play for Andy Talley. Matt Szczur, Villanova's best offensive player is also the team's best special teams player, playing on coverage teams and returning kickoffs. Szczur's efforts on special teams culminated in being named last season's CAA Special Teams Player of The Year.
At Kicker, strong legged sophomore Nick Yako should only improve from a freshman season where he made a host of big field goals and only missed one extra point. Yako started the season by kicking the game winning field goal against Temple and never let pressure situations get to him. If the Villanova offense remains as high powered as it was last year, I fully expect Yako to lead the team in scoring.
Returning for his second year as punter will be Junior Dominic Scarnecchia. Originally recruited as a defensive back (and still on the depth chart at strong safety,) Scarnecchia punted last season for the first time in his life and held the job despite the fact that three year starter Zach Ugarte was still on the roster. Scarnecchia utilizes a bizarre looking, but effective rugby punt which helps the coverage team get downfield along with making the punts harder to block. While nerve racking at the beginning of the year, eventually you get used to watching a guy who has never punted in his life kick rolling line drives.