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By any measure, the Nebraska football team's 2018 special teams play was very, very far away from special. In fact, for most of the season, the unit was amongst the worst in the country when talking about kick and punt return average, kick coverage and penalties. There were also some pretty bad punts and at the beginning of the season, missed field goals. While there were too many things that went wrong as a unit, it appears the Husker staff is slowly and surely fixing the problems that ailed them. Jamie Nance could end up being one piece of the cure.

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Nebraska football needs return men

It's been a few years since the Cornhuskers' return teams were special at all. You could probably trace it back to now long departed Demornay Pierson-El's freshman year to the last time Nebraska was feared even a little bit when it comes to punt and kick returns. That was the year he averaged 17.5 yards per punt return and has three returns for touchdowns. The next season, he averaged 12 yards per punt return before he was hurt.

Since that injury, the return squads have been mostly bad.

Pierson-El was never the same over his final two seasons; he averaged just over 7.1 yards per punt return. Last season, the Nebraska team averaged just 9.4 yards per punt return, while allowing opponents to an average of 11.3 yards per punt and two touchdowns. JD Spielman did start to look like he might be something, he had a 77-yard return for a touchdown, but he averaged just 5.4 yards per his other five returns. There's also the point to be made that the Huskers aren't going to want him returning next season as he will be their best receiver.

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When it came to kick returns, the entire team was pretty bad. The Huskers finished the year averaging just 15.8 yards per return. The coverage unit allowed just over 20 yards. Spielman was the best option there too, netting 21.1 yards per, on eight returns.

Jamie Nance could be an answer

While Nance has been lauded as a receiver recruit, he showed he could do much more than that in his senior season. According to Oklahoma newspaper NewsOk, he was dominant on special teams. He finished his final high school season with two kicks and two punts for touchdowns, and he amassed over 500 total yards.

Compare that to the entire Nebraska football team who had 640 yards in kick and punt return yardage. That's a grand total of nine players just barely beating out Nance's singular season.

It's not just Jamie Nance either. Wandale Robinson has shown some skills on special teams as well. He showed those off most recently at the Under Armour All-American game. If the Nebraska football team is going to show leaps and bounds improvements from 2018 to 2019, it's going to need to improve in all aspects.

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That includes in the punt and kick return units. If Nance and Robinson can take those jobs over, the Huskers could see something special.