Special Teams — B

The Morning News/Razorback Central
Posted Oct 17, 2007

Arkansas’ special teams turned in a poor performance against Auburn, but has been relatively solid the first half of the season.

Freshman kicker Alex Tejada’s 41-yard miss against the Tigers was costly, but he has made 10 of 12 and is second in the SEC in accuracy (83.3 percent).

Punter Jeremy Davis has been solid, averaging 40.9 yards a punt. None of his 34 attempts have been blocked. He has had 14 punts downed inside an opponent’s 20-yard line.

Arkansas’ kick return team — when an opponent kicks the ball to one of the deep men — has been explosive with running back Felix Jones leading the way. The junior is fifth in the nation in kickoff returns (31.6 yards) and has returned two for touchdowns in the first half of the season.

But the reason Arkansas’ special teams haven’t earned an ‘A’ is simple: The punt return team. The Razorbacks have tried four different returners this season (Michael Smith, Reggie Fish, Peyton Hillis and Jerell Norton). Norton had a 47-yard return against Tennessee-Chattanooga (the longest since 2003), but was the latest to fumble his opportunity to nail down the job by muffing two punts in the Auburn loss.

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