For all the things Nebraska has done well and all the things that have gone right for the Huskers during a six-game win streak, success in the return game has not been one of them.
Two important stats as NU prepares for the Big Ten championship game vs. Wisconsin on Saturday night:
>> Nebraska is averaging just 1.9 yards on 12 punt returns in the last six games. Its only return longer than 5 yards was a 19-yarder by Tim Marlowe at Michigan State.
>> NU is averaging 17.9 yards on 12 kickoff returns from the Northwestern game on. The only return longer than 26 yards was a 31-yarder by Jamal Turner against Michigan.
The punt return numbers have been hindered by the Huskers’ inability to secure the catch (five fumbles on the 12 returns, four lost). Even Marlowe muffed the punt that he returned against the Spartans, briefly scrambling to pick up the football before running.
NU’s last significant plays in the return game? They go back to a 43-yard punt return by Ameer Abdullah at Ohio State on Oct. 6 and an 83-yard kickoff return by Abdullah in the first game against Wisconsin on Sept. 29.