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Monday, August 5, 2013
Impact of 2012 kickoff changes

By ESPN Stats & Information

How much of an impact did moving the kickoff from the 30 to the 35-yard line and the touchback from the 20 to the 25 have on college football last season?

Here are a few stat-based observations.

• The rate of kickoffs that went for touchbacks more than doubled, from 16 percent in 2011 to 35 percent in 2012.

• The average kick return went for the same distance in 2012 as it did in 2011 (21.7 yards), though a higher rate (7.1 percent) went for at least 40 yards than in 2011 (6.4 percent).

• Those who did elect to return kicks scored touchdowns with greater frequency. One of every 71.2 kickoffs returned was brought back for a touchdown in 2012. That rate was one for every 93.4 returns in 2011.