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  • Writer's pictureNoah Beausoleil

The Final UFL Special Teams Power Rankings - A Week 9 Review

Welcome to the Final UFL Special Teams Power Rankings! I will take a break during Week 10 and the Playoffs to build suspense for the first-ever Between The Goalposts; UFL Special Teams Awards. With that out of the way, let's discuss how the UFL Special Teams units performed in this week's review

 

Special Teams Player of the Week

Colby Wadman - USFL Conference

Coming off a 4-week stint on IR, many might have assumed that Colby Wadman would need a game or two to shake off the rust. He proved them wrong, returning to deliver one of his best games in the UFL. In the Stallions' 18-9 loss to the San Antonio Brahmas, Wadman punted a season-high 6 times, averaging 42 yards and 34 net yards per punt. These numbers might not jump off your computer screen, but they weren't the most impressive part of his performance. Wadman was able to consistently pin the Brahmas deep in their own territory, with 3 punts landing inside the 10-yard line, accounting for 50% of his punts. Returning after an injury is challenging, and delivering a performance like this is something spring football has rarely seen before.

 

Paxton Brooks - XFL Conference

In their 36-12 win over the Memphis Showboats, Paxton Brooks was tasked with handling both Punting and Kickoff duties. While he did a good job punting, averaging over 36 net yards per punt, it was his Kickoff performance that put him on my radar. Brooks kicked off 6 times for a total of 417 yards, averaging an impressive 69.5 yards per attempt. He had 3 of his kickoffs (50%) remain inside the 30-yard line and recorded 2, 80-yard Touchbacks, giving the DC Defence plenty of room to work with as Memphis struggled to get anything going on offence.

 

Kickers

   A season-low 9 field goals were attempted during the Week 9 games, with Kickers only making 5 of them. Their collective 55.6% completion percentage was by far their lowest all season. The longest field goal of the week was from 39 yards away. Here are the UFL Week 9 Kicker Power Rankings:

Standouts;

  1. Jonathan Garibay (ARL) was the only Kicker to attempt more than 1 field goal, making both of his attempts, including a long of 38 yards.

  2. Ramiz Ahmed (BHAM) made his final field goal attempt from 34 yards out. This week, the Birmingham Stallions activated Chris Blewitt off of IR and subsequently waived Ramiz Ahmed. He finishes his UFL season going 10/13 (77%) on field goals with a long of 46 yards.


Slip-ups;

  1. Jake Bates (MICH) missed his only field goal attempt from 39 yards. This marks his second miss in 2 weeks and is his first miss from under 50 yards. Bates has proven his ability and will remain in the top position due to his past performance. However, he will need to have a good game in Week 10 to be named the best kicker in the UFL.

  2. Ryan Santoso (SAN) also missed his only field goal, though his came on a 53-yard attempt. He has only made 2 of his last 5 attempts, with misses coming from 38 yards, 48 yards, and 53 yards.

 

Punters

There were 29 punts in Week 9, with Punters averaging 46 yards and 36.3 net yards per punt. This marks the third consecutive week where Punters have averaged over 45 yards and 36 net yards per punt. Roughly 21% of punts (6) were kept inside the 20-yard line, including 3 punts that landed inside the 10-yard line. Penalties were an issue this week, with Punters receiving 7 infractions (24%) for punts that travelled out of bounds or through the endzone. Here are the UFL Week 9 Punter Power Rankings:

Standouts;

  1. Marquette King (ARL) punted 4 times, averaging 44.8 yards and 40.5 net yards per punt. Through his last 2 games, King has punted 8 times for a net average of 42 yards and has pinned his opponents inside their own 20-yard line on 4 of his punts (50%).

  2. Brad Wing (SAN) set a new personal record for average yards per punt, averaging 54 yards across 4 punts. Additionally, he averaged 42 net yards per punt, despite recording a touchback.


  Slip-ups;

  1. Sterling Hofrichter (STL) struggled to keep his punts in the field of play this week, with 2 of his 4 punts resulting in touchbacks. While he averaged over 50 yards per punt, he was only able to register an average of 33.7 net yards, marking the second time he has dipped below 35 net yards per punt all season.

 

Kickoff Specialists

Over 37 kickoffs, specialists averaged just over 70 yards, the highest we've seen all season, with more than 50% (19) of their Kickoffs travelling further than 70 yards. They also had 11 Kickoffs (30%) remain inside the 30-yard line, largely due to the season-high 5 touchbacks that were recorded! Here are the UFL Week 9 Kickoff Specialist Power Rankings;

Standouts;

  1. Jake Bates (MICH) matched his Week 8 stat line exactly, averaging 70 yards over 5 kickoffs, with 3 kickoffs (60%) travelling further than 70 yards. Bates had 2 of his kickoffs (40%) remain inside the 30-yard line and managed to record his first touchback of the season.

  2. Sterling Hofrichter (STL) kicked off 4 times, averaging 74 yards per kickoff, including 3 kickoffs (75%) that travelled for more than 70 yards. He kept 2 of his kickoffs (50%) inside the 30-yard line. If he has another good performance in Week 10, he can break into the Top 4.

  3. JJ Molson (HOU) totalled 370 yards over 5 kickoffs, averaging 74 yards per attempt, including 4 kickoffs that travelled more than 70 yards. He was also able to record his first touchback of the season, however, he kicked off from the 35-yard line due to a penalty on the opposing team.


  Slip-ups;

  1. Ramiz Ahmed (BHAM) kicked off 3 times for an average of 66.7 yards, marking his third consecutive week averaging less than 68 yards per kickoff. The Stallions can expect better field position now that Chris Blewitt has returned from IR. During Ramiz's 6-game stretch, he kicked off a total of 35 times, averaging 69 yards per kickoff, with 14 kickoffs travelling more than 70 yards, and 8 kickoffs remaining inside the 30-yard line.

  2. Matt Coghlin (MEM) struggled this week and hasn't recorded a kickoff inside the 30-yard line for 3 consecutive games.

 

Long Snappers

Long snappers had 14 long snaps showcased in highlight packages this week, including 7 field goal snaps and 7 punt snaps. For the second time all season, 100% of their long snaps were recorded as strikes. Here are the UFL Week 9 Long Snapper Power Rankings:

  Standouts;

  1. Rex Sunahara (SAN) recorded 3 strikes this week on 1 field goal snap and 2 punt snaps. He has now recorded 8 Strikes on his last 8 highlighted long snaps.

  2. Antonio Ortiz (ARL) is continuing to improve as the season continues, recording 2 more strikes on his field goal snaps.

 

Kickoff Returners

There were 32 kick returns this week, with returners averaging 25.8 yards per return. This is the highest average recorded all season, thanks to their 11 returns (34%) that travelled over 30 yards. Here are the UFL Week 9 Kickoff Returner Power Rankings:

  Standouts;

  1. Darrius Shepherd (STL) returned 5 kickoffs for a total of 152 yards, averaging 30.4 yards per return. He read the coverage unit like a book and had 3 kickoff returns (60%) travel over 30 yards.

  2. Chris Rowland (DC) had 3 kickoff returns, averaging 32.3 yards per return. He leads all kickoff returners with 949 total return yards, recording another 2 returns (67%) over 30 yards.

  3. Terry Wright (MICH) continues to be a threat returning kickoffs, racking up 109 yards over 4 returns. He averaged 27.3 yards this week, with 2 of his returns (50%) travelling over 30 yards.


  Slip-ups;

  1. Juwan Manigo (ARL) muffed another kickoff return this week, marking his second fumble in 3 games.

 

Punt Returners

There were 14 punt returns this week, with Returners averaging 11.1 yards per return. There were 3 returns (21%) that travelled over 15 yards, including a new UFL record for the longest punt of the season. For the seventh consecutive week, there were issues fielding punts, with 2 more fumbles being recorded. Here are the UFL Week 9 Punt Returner Power Rankings:

  Standouts;

  1. Darrius Shepherd (STL) excelled in his lone opportunity and returned a punt for 17 yards.

  2. Chris Rowland (DC) returned 2 punts for a total of 53 yards, including a 45-yard return, a new record for the longest punt return in the UFL.

  3. KeKe Chism (HOU) returned his first punt in the UFL for 16 yards.


  Slip-ups;

  1. Terry Wright (MICH) had trouble fielding yet another punt, muffing a return for the second week in a row.

 

Coverage Teams

Coverage Teams across the UFL allowed an average of 11.1 yards over 14 punt returns and an average of 25.8 yards across 32 kickoff returns. Both figures are well above the season average, indicating that the Coverage Units struggled quite a bit this week. There were also 7 penalties handed out for a total of 55 yards. Here are the UFL Week 9 Coverage Team Power Rankings:

  Standouts;

  1. The St. Louis Battlehawks allowed just 2 yards on a single punt return and an average of 21.3 yards over 4 kickoffs. They were only penalized once this week and are the least penalized team in the UFL.

  2. The DC Defenders gave up 6 yards on 1 punt return and an average of 22 yards across 4 kickoffs. They did not receive any penalties this week.


  Slip-ups;

  1. The Memphis Showboats allowed an astonishing 26.5 yards over 2 punt returns and an average of 32.3 yards across 3 kickoffs. This was their worst performance all season.

  2. The Birmingham Stallions received another 2 penalties this week for a total of 30 yards. They now have the most penalty yards of any UFL team.

 

Individual ST Stats

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

 

Here are your most penalized Special Teams Players;

 

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