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Ohio State hoping for its special teams to be special again in 2012

Editor’s Note: This is the sixth of a six-part series previewing this year’s Ohio State football team.

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Chris Fields, shown returning a punt against Toledo last year, will likely fill the punt return duties this fall for the Buckeyes until Jordan Hall returns from a foot injury. (EXAMINER FILE PHOTO)

He is known for creating high-powered offenses, but Urban Meyer also takes pride in working with special teams.

As he did at Florida, Meyer will coach the special teams units at Ohio State. With the Gators, he tutored star kick returner Brandon James and punter Chas Henry, who was the winner of the 2010 Ray Guy Award as the nation’s top punter.

Special teams have been a weakness in recent years for the Buckeyes. A prime example came in Ohio State’s 24-17 loss to Florida in the Gator Bowl in January.

In that game, the Buckeyes gave up a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, had a punt blocked that was returned for a TD and kicker Drew Basil started the game with a kickoff out of bounds.

Will the special teams play be better in 2012? Many fans would respond to that question by saying it can’t get any worse.

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