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Times reporter Bob Condotta keeps the news coming about the Montlake Dawgs.

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September 18, 2008 4:14 PM

PK job up for grabs

Posted by Bob Condotta

I made a brief mention in my story on Wednesday that the UW place kicking job is again up for grabs, but that might have gotten overlooked in the bigger news of the day about Scott Woodward.

So I'll review the situation again here.

On Tuesday, special teams coach Brian White said the PK job will be contested in practice this week and next week between Ryan Perkins and Jared Ballman. Asked if the job is open this week, White said "yeah, absolutely.''

Perkins and Ballman combined to go 0-3 in the Oklahoma game, Ballman missing from 47 and 48 yards and Perkins from 28. Perkins also memorably had a 35-yard PAT blocked against BYU, but made a 35-yard field goal against Oregon. The Huskies hinted at a change, however, when Ballman replaced Perkins for the final PAT against Oklahoma.

Ballman took the two longer kicks against OU as White had said earlier that he would be used to attempt longer field goals this year. Ballman missed each kick wide, the first one to the right, the second one to the left.

Perkins also missed his wide, to the right, on the last play of the first half.

"I thought most of the kicks were kicked well, but they didn't go through,'' White said. "So we've got to figure out a way to get them through the uprights.''

The Huskies are now 1-4 this year on field goals, the worst percentage in the Pac-10 (every other team has made at least half of its kicks) and tied with USC for the fewest made (the Trojans are 1-1 in two games).

"We have to solidify protection and we need to kick the ball better,'' White said. "We can't leave points off the board. Whether they are 48-yarders or 30-yarders, we have to convert. It's demoralizing when we don't, whether it's from a protection standpoint or we just barely miss it.''

Perkins was 15-20 last year as UW's kicker but has never completely recovered from a knee injury suffered in 2006, admitting that continuing to play football now is a year-to-year proposition.

Ballman has the stronger leg, witness the fact that he handles kickoffs, but has admitted his accuracy needs work. He also missed a 47-yarder last year at Stanford in his only attempt of the 2007 season. Perkins' longest kick is a 45-yarder last year against Cal.

For now, White said the competition is strictly between Perkins and Ballman. Redshirt freshmen Erik Folk, a member of the Class of 2007, has been struggling with a hip injury. White has said Folk needs to get healthy and also needs to become more consistent to become a factor in the kicking competition.

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