Huskies Insider Blog

Holiday Bowl: Scouting Nebraska . . . in special teams

Editor's note: Periodically from now until the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30th, we will break down Nebraska, position by position, as the two teams head for its collision-course rematch in San Diego.

** Starters: The placekicker and punter is Alex Henery; the punt returner is Niles Paul; the kick returners are Paul and Tim Marlowe.

** Top reserves: PR Rex Burkhead, Eric Hagg and Marlowe; KR Brandon Kinnie.

** Key statistics in 2010: Henery was 18-of-19 on field goals, with a long of 53 yards. He averaged 43.9 yards per punt; Paul averaged 25.2 yards per kick return, and 11.4 yards per punt return. He returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown; Hagg had a 95-yard punt return for a score.

** Scouting report: This is traditionally one of the best of its kind in the country. Again, the Cornerhuskers were one of the best at returning punts (12.9 yards per attempt; ranked No. 14) and kickoffs (23.3 yards; ranked No. 31), it was a sub-par season for their coverage units who barely cracked the top 100. … Paul (broken foot) is expected to return after missing the final two games of the regular season. ... Henery, the two-way threat, received All-American status by virtually every media outlet this season.

** Quoteworthy: "(The kicker/punter (Henery) is phenomenal. He's the best in the country, and that sets the stage for them because of the simple fact that there's not a lot of kickoff returns, and he's a big touchback guy, so their teams are constantly starting on the 20 yard line." – Steve Sarkisian, UW coach.