ATHENS, Ga. — The mask, or the job, may have dulled the Scott Cochran effect on Georgia’s sideline. There have been no viral moments where Cochran jumps or screams or bounces around.

And yet is the very unexpected hiring of Cochran as special teams coordinator — a move that seemed unprecedented in major college football — paying off for Georgia?

Yeah.

Georgia has the best special teams in the SEC, at least going by the special teams efficiency rankings at both ESPN and FootballOutsiders.com. Three of Georgia’s special teams units rank in the top 10 nationally — punting, kickoff returns and punt coverage — and three more rank in the top 30.

“The big emphasis last week was, ‘Hey, punt return is lagging behind,’” head coach Kirby Smart said. “We cranked it up on punt return and did a better job.”

When Smart hired Cochran earlier this year, it came out of nowhere.





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