Midseason grades – Special Teams

WR Jordan Polk (K. Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

Brian White was brought in to work with the special teams units this season, but there hasn't been much improvement from what we saw the previous three seasons under head coach Tyrone Willingham.

Kickers – D

It's hard to be too negative on a guy like Ryan Perkins, who is still suffering the effects of the terrible knee injury he suffered in the Spring Game in 2006. He lives in constant pain and yet has still been able to get out on the field and he'd been accurate for the most part up until this season where he's only 1 for 3.

His blocked extra-point against BYU, a kick that came out low, could be considered a turning-point in this season. Had Washington won that game, would we be talking about Willingham's eventual ouster?

Long field goals have been handled by senior P Jared Ballman and he's managed to hit 2 of 5, but he is far from being the go-to guy you would hope he would be.

Ballman consistently gets his kickoffs into the endzone and he's had seven touchbacks in 23 attempts.


Punter – B

Ballman has been solid punting the ball. He doesn't have a huge leg, but he has managed to hit five over 50 yards including a long of 64 and he's also had six downed inside the 20 which is his specialty.


Punt and Kick returns – D

Washington hasn't had many chances to return punts since the defense rarely gets off the field on third downs, but when they've had the opportunities to return a punt they are averaging only 5.5 yards on four returns. Freshman WR Devin Aguilar has been the main punt returner for the Huskies.

Kickoffs have been mainly handled by Jordan Polk and the diminutive wideout has been explosive at times, but he's still only managed to post an 18.6 yard average on 22 returns.


Punt and Kick coverage – D

When you're constantly punting, it gives the other team chances to make plays in the return game and Washington's opponents are having a field day returning Ballman's punts, posting a 16.7 yard average.

Washington has been better this year against the opponents' kick return unit, bringing their average down from 25.4 yards per return last season to 21.7 yards per return this year.

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