Washington State Football 2012 Evals: P Michael Bowlin


November 3, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Washington State Cougars kicker Michael Bowlin (46) punts from his own end zone during the first quarter against the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Stats: 58 Punts, 2433 yards, 41.9 avg, 14 50+ yard kicks, long 69 yards / 47 kickoffs, 2961 yards, 63.0 avg, 18 touchbacks

What he accomplished in 2012: 

Michael Bowlin joined the Cougars in 2012 as a JC transfer out of Saddleback College in California and immediately contributed to the special teams unit. Bowlin was the punter and kickoff specialist in 2012 and handled both positions fairly.

He ranked 6th in the conference for punting average at 41.9 yards per punt,  providing a decent field position swing for the Cougs. He also ranked in the middle of the conference for touchbacks, arguably the only pertinent stat for kickoffs. Ranked 7th in the conference with a touchback average of 38.30%, Bowlin will need to work on his distance, if he still handles kickoffs in 2013.

What I expect in 2013:

More touchbacks for one, the ability to keep the other team from great starting position is a huge asset to have and the Cougars need to continue to capitalize on this. The special teams unit only allowed 21.34 yards per return last year, but limiting the opportunity for a big play is always a good thing.

Secondly, Bowlin needs to continue punting at his 2012 pace of 41.9 yards per game. The Cougs ranked 3 in the conference in opponent average return yards at 6.74 yards per return. Adding a few yards per kick will continue to help the Cougars swing field position in their favor.

Overall the kicking game was average last year and if Bowlin can improve his leg strength, even slightly, the Cougars could take advantage of a surprisingly good special teams unit.