Kickoff return

Iowa's Ihmir Smith-Marsette returned a kickoff for a touchdown against the Huskers on Black Friday. It was one of two kickoff return TDs allowed by Nebraska this season.

LINCOLN — The struggles of Nebraska’s special teams are well chronicled. It didn’t help that the personnel was in flux most of the way.

» Punt return. JD Spielman made 14 of the 16 returns, with Isaiah Stalbird and Eric Lee each adding one. This unit served as the debut for multiple freshmen, including defensive backs Quinton Newsome and Javin Wright. It was relatively stable, populated with five walk-ons or former walk-ons by the finale against Iowa.

» Punt. Contributors with this group were the most steady, with no changes to the weekly lineup over the last half of the season. Seniors were punter Isaac Armstrong, long snapper Chase Urbach and defensive backs Reid Karel and Jeramiah Stovall. Six walk-ons/former walk-ons were on the unit for Black Friday.

» Kickoff return. Just five players were part of the group for NU’s first and last games: Dedrick Mills, Wyatt Mazour, Eli Sullivan, Stovall and Stalbird. Kickoffs were also landing spots for redshirting true freshmen Myles Farmer, Chris Hickman and Garrett Snodgrass. Seven Huskers attempted at least one return. Against Iowa, Nebraska rolled out eight former/current walk-ons.

» Kickoff. Changes came weekly and often within games. Safety Deontai Williams was part of the original plan here but suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in the opener. Four kickers handled duties, though just 14 of 66 total kickoffs went for touchbacks. Nebraska rotated through freshmen like Garrett Nelson, Darien Chase, Nick Henrich and Farmer along with reserves Damian Jackson and Simon Otte. The final lineup included seven current or former walk-ons and two seniors in Karel and Stovall.

» Extra points. The block team was made up entirely of scholarship players for most of the season. The kicking team featured three Huskers most fans wouldn’t know appeared in every game this fall: senior defensive lineman Daishon Neal and sophomore O-linemen Broc Bando and Matt Sichterman. Five kickers collected extra points. True freshman Bryce Benhart, who redshirted, appeared on multiple PAT kicking units as well.

» Only four true freshman didn't redshirt, and all were regulars on special teams: receiver/back Wan’Dale Robinson, walk-on linebacker Luke Reimer, Nelson and Newsome.

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