Washington's punter reveals perils of punting for a team that doesn't punt
When you have an offense as prolific as Washington’s, and a coach as aggressive as Kalen DeBoer, life as a punter on any given Saturday is a pretty boring existence.
Washington has punted 15 times in eight games this season. On a per-game basis, UCLA is the only team in college football that has used its punter less than UW. Hard to complain, right? The Huskies are averaging 40.4 points a game (the 12th-best mark in the country).
It’s touchdown or bust. UW has kicked 11 field goals this season, but it’s also top-15 in fourth-down tries.
The Athletic’s Grace Raynor spoke to a handful of punters — dubbed ‘the loneliest men in college football’ — on teams whose offenses are lighting up scoreboards to find out what it’s like standing on the sidelines just getting cold every Saturday.
So, of course, she caught up with Washington redshirt freshman punter Jack McCallister.
“Well, on one hand, it’s kind of frustrating because I would like to go out there and do my job,” McCallister told Raynor. “But it also kind of feels good to know that our offense is doing that well and so I don’t really need to go out there.”
It has been a stark change in DeBoer’s first season on Montlake. A point-averse team a year ago, Washington was averaging just 21.5 a game (107th) and making it to where Race Porter didn’t have to sneak a leg day into his weekly workout routine — he could rest assured he’d have one every Saturday.
Washington punted 54 times in 12 games. Porter was great at it, averaging nearly 49 yards a boot, but a 4-8 Husky squad probably would have liked to be more effective scoring.
“I would have never imagined that last year would have gone the way it did and then Coach DeBoer would’ve come in and we would have this crazy offense,” McCallister said. “But it happened, and even though I’m not getting to punt a lot, it’s still a super-fun experience.”
At least there’s plenty of opportunity for McCallister to hold for extra points!