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  • Writer's pictureNoah Beausoleil

UFL Special Teams Power Rankings - A Week 4 Review

This week, BTG is bringing you a condensed edition of the ST Power Rankings. Apologies for the delay, let's discuss how the UFL Special Teams units performed in this week's review;

 

Special Teams Player of the Week

Ramiz Ahmed - USFL Conference

Ramiz Ahmed was signed early last week after the Birmingham Stallions placed Kicker Chris Blewitt on Injured Reserve, effectively ending his season. There were some concerns regarding his accuracy, but after his flawless 4/4 performance this week, I doubt any fan will be complaining. Ahmed emerged in the pouring rain to contribute 12 of the Stallions' 20 points in their comeback win over the Defenders. It all came to a head with just :09 seconds left on the clock when Ramiz was tasked with attempting a 46-yard, game-winning field goal. He drilled it straight through the uprights, sealing their victory and keeping the Stallions undefeated.

 

DC Defenders Coverage Team - XFL Conference

The Defenders have put on a show once again! They allowed just 7 yards on a single punt return and held returners to an average of just 21.2 yards per kickoff return, both stats well below the league-wide averages of 10.5 yards allowed per punt return and 24.3 yards allowed per kickoff return. They were not penalized a single time on special teams for the second consecutive week and even managed to record a blocked punt. Kelvin Harmon (#13) burst up the middle unblocked to deflect the punt by Colby Wadman, securing the DC Defenders' second blocked punt of the season.

 

Kickers

  Here are the UFL Week 4 Kicker Power Rankings;

The highlights;

  • Matt McCrane (DC) claims the top spot in the Power Rankings after going 2/2 on field goals this week, including a long of 39 yards. While Bates has shown impressive range on his kicks, I am giving the edge to the kicker who has consistently demonstrated outstanding accuracy all over the field.

  • Jake Bates (MICH) made his only field goal attempt from 49 yards.

  • JJ Molson (HOU) missed his first field goal of the season, a 53-yard try that sailed wide left.

  • Ramiz Ahmed (BHAM) had the best week of any Kicker in the UFL, making all 4 of his field goal attempts, earning himself the Between The Goalposts Special Teams Player of the Week award.

  • Ryan Santoso (SAN) went 2/2 on field goal attempts this week, including a new career long of 40 yards.

  • Jonathan Garibay (ARL) successfully made his first UFL field goal attempt from 31 yards out. Taylor Russolino was released by the team early last week.

 

Punters

  Here are the UFL Week 4 Punter Power Rankings;

The highlights;

  • Sterling Hofrichter (STL) punted just once for the second consecutive week. His precise placement and hangtime ensured his Coverage Team could effectively limit the return, resulting in a punt that travelled 38 yards with a net of 39 yards

  • Marquette King (ALR) punted 6 times, averaging 45.3 yards and 37.2 net yards per punt. He pinned 2 punts (33%) inside the 20-yard line, including 1 downed inside the 10-yard line. King demonstrated his leg strength by launching 50% of his punts over 50 yards, forcing 2 fair catches in the process.

  • Brad Wing (SAN) punted 4 times for an average of 45.5 yards and 33.5 net yards per punt. However, he recorded his first Touchback of the season.

  • Paxton Brooks (DC) punted 3 times, averaging 47.7 yards and 37 net yards. Unfortunately for him, he recorded another Touchback, his fourth of the season. Brooks must work on his directional punting to break into the Top 4.

  • Colby Wadman (BHAM) struggled this week after sustaining an injury on his first punt of the night. He averaged just 23.8 yards per punt with a net of 17.2 yards across 4 punts. While this performance was not great, I attribute it to his injury and anticipate him climbing the rankings upon his return. In the meantime, the Stallions will rely on the leg of Drue Chrisman, an NFL-experienced punter who signed with the team earlier this week.

 

Kickoff Specialists

  Here are the UFL Week 4 Kickoff Specialist Power Rankings;

The highlights;

  • Jake Bates (MICH) jumps into the top position after an injury to Chris Blewitt. His lone kickoff this week travelled 70 yards downfield.

  • Ryan Santoso (SAN) continues to justify his signing, hammering 5 kickoffs for an average of 71 yards per attempt, with 4 passing the 70-yard threshold.

  • Paxton Brooks (DC) started the night off on the right foot, kicking off 5 times for an average of 65 yards, but he unfortunately shanked one kickoff out of bounds. This prompted Matt McCrane to step in for 1 attempt, which travelled for 62 yards.

  • Jonathan Garibay (ARL) showcased his abilities, kicking off 3 times for an average of 70.7 yards, with 2 of them (66%) travelling for over 70 yards and staying inside the 30-yard line.

  • JJ Molson (HOU) had 2 of his kickoffs (50%) remain inside the 30-yard line.

  • Matt Coghlin (MEM) struggled this week, averaging just 63.3 yards across 4 kickoffs, marking his lowest average of the season. None of his kickoffs travelled for more than 70 yards or remained inside the 30-yard line.

 

Long Snappers

  Here are the UFL Week 4 Long Snapper Power Rankings;

The highlights;

  • Jordan Ober (MICH) remains perfect on field goal snaps, with his lone attempt marked as a Strike. He also delivered a perfect punt snap this week, keeping him in the top position.

  • Alex Matheson (STL) was perfect this week, with both of his highlighted field goal snaps recorded as Strikes.

  • Logan Klusman (HOU) and his team had their first week without a blocked punt. If they can sustain this performance, expect Klusman to climb the Power Rankings.

  • Trae Barry (DC) continues to struggle, with 2 out of his 3 highlighted snaps marked as Balls. His worst error was a punt snap that sailed out of reach of the Punter, resulting in a safety.

 

Kickoff Returners

  Here are the UFL Week 4 Kickoff Returner Power Rankings;

The highlights;

  • Darrius Shepherd (STL) delivered another impressive performance, returning 4 kickoffs for a total of 128 yards, averaging 32 yards per return. His longest UFL kickoff return yet spanned 60 yards. Shepherd stands out among all returners with 7 returns (44%) surpassing 30 yards.

  • Chris Rowland (DC) returned 5 kickoffs for a total of 126 yards, averaging 25.2 yards per return, with his longest being a 43-yard return.

  • Trey Williams was released by the Memphis Showboats earlier last week, a surprising move considering his dynamic abilities as a returner.

  • Vinny Papale (MEM) is likely the one who will take over kickoff return duties, having just 1 opportunity this week, which he returned for 40 yards.

  • Lavonta Taylor (MICH) broke out onto the return scene this week, returning 5 kickoff returns for a total of 131 yards, averaging 26.2 yards per return. His longest kickoff return of the night was 35 yards.

 

Punt Returners

  Here are the UFL Week 4 Punt Returner Power Rankings;

The highlights;

  • Juwan Manigo (ARL) finally had a chance to return punts after 3 weeks of fair catches and touchbacks. He returned 5 punts for a total of 81 yards, averaging about 16.2 yards per return. Manigo's longest return of the week spanned 22 yards, with 3 returns (60%) exceeding 15 yards.

  • Jarey Elder (MEM) probably should have called for a fair catch on his sole punt return; instead, he was pushed back and lost a yard.

  • Jahcour Pearson (STL) returned to the field and returned punts this week with his only return travelling for 16 yards. With an injury to Darrius Shepherd being reported, look for Pearson to take over return duties.

  • Justin Hall (HOU) returned 3 punts this week, with his longest being a 29-yard return, the longest of Week 4.

  • Marquez Stevenson (SAN) averaged 15.5 yards across 2 punt returns this week, with a season-long of 26 yards.

 

Coverage Teams

  Here are the UFL Week 4 Coverage Team Power Rankings;

The highlights;

  • The DC Defenders continue to dominate on Coverage Teams, earning themselves the Between The Goalposts Special Teams Player(s) of the Week award.

  • The Memphis Showboats faced struggles this week, allowing an average of 11.3 yards on 3 punt returns and an average of 32 yards across 4 kickoff returns. This marked their weakest performance as a unit, made worse by receiving 1 penalty for 5 yards.

  • The Michigan Panthers may not consistently shut down returners but they are about as disciplined as it gets. This marks their 4th consecutive week without a penalty on special teams, making them the only team without any penalties this season.

  • The Houston Roughnecks are now the sole team to have incurred a penalty in every game, accumulating a significant 70 penalty yards. This week, they allowed an average of over 16 yards on 5 punt returns and an average of 20.8 yards on 4 kickoff returns.

  • The Arlington Renegades had one of their worst performances of the year, allowing an average of 12.3 yards on 4 punt returns and an average of 22.7 yards across 3 kickoff returns. They particularly struggled with penalties, receiving 4 penalties totaling 31 yards.

 

Individual ST Stats

  Here's who is making an impact on Special Teams;

 

Here are your most penalized Special Teams Players;

 

Holders

  Here are the UFL Week 4 Holder Power Rankings;

The highlights;

  • Colby Wadman (BHAM) handled an errant snap while injured, demonstrating great focus and skill as a holder.

 

For up-to-date Special Teams news Follow me on Twitter (X) - Between The Goalposts


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