Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
Each week, we take a look at the various fronts of Washington's upcoming opponent. Today, we look at the special teams of the Boise State Broncos.
Like the Huskies, Boise State's special teams players have shown talent as well as an inability to make big plays at key times. It's unlikely that either team's players in this phase will control the outcome of the game, but whichever team gets superior play here will likely find itself in the driver's seat to win the Las Vegas Bowl.
Place Kicking: Senior Michael Frisina has attempted all of Boise State's field goals and PATs this year, going a solid 12-17 on those attempts. He seems to have a limited range, though, as he has missed his only two attempts from 40 or more yards out, and hasn't made a kick longer than 30 yards in his career. On PATs, Frisina has missed just one of his 42 attempts on the year.
Kickoffs: Junior Trevor Harman has handled the lion's share of Boise State's KOS duties in 2012, but his 10 touchbacks in 56 attempts shouldn't strike fear into the hearts of opposing return teams. The Broncos' coverage team has given a series of feast-or-famish performances, allowing just a touch over 20 yards per return, and but also giving up six returns of 30 yards per more, including two touchdowns.
Punts: Harman is also the team's primary punter, and has an impressive average of 41.6 yards per attempt on 38 total punts. The Broncos have displayed impressive coverage abilities in this phase of the game, allowing just 6.2 yards per return to opponents, and just one return of more than 20 yards.
Kickoff Returns: D.J. Harper and Dallas Burroughs are listed atop the depth chart at this position, though Shane Williams-Rhodes has also gotten ample opportunities to prove himself. As a unit, the Broncos have shown flashes of potential in the kick return game, but for one reason or another, they simply haven't been able to string together a play in which everything falls the right way for them. Washington's coverage players will need to stay disciplined in sticking to their lanes to keep this phase of the game from giving the Broncos a burst of momentum.
Punt Returns: Senior wide receiver Chris Potter has made the most of his final year with the Broncos, averaging nearly 12 yards per return on 24 attempts. He's an absolute danger in the open field, returning five of those 24 punts for 20 yards or more, and will be in a good position to influence Saturday's game early if Washington's road offensive woes come back to haunt them.