Lincoln, NE - Nebraska special teams coordinator Ross Els didn't talk to the media on Saturday after the Huskers win over Southern Miss. Something tells me he probably went to watch film.
His second year in the program and first game on the job in charge of special teams, Els saw his group give up a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown midway through the first quarter. On Monday, Els still might not have been over it.
“That really hurt. That's one you remember the rest of your life, anytime anyone scores,” said Els. “That was the embarrassment of the game. You cannot give up big plays in any facet of the game and we gave it up at such an inopportune time. We were dominating the game. The offense was scoring and then we let them right back into it."
The touchdown made the game 14-7 and Southern Miss would eventually score again to tie the contest early in the second quarter.
“I don't even remember the next five minutes of the game after the kick return,” said Els. “We were all just kind of, 'oh my God, let's get it fixed. What do we have to do?' We were all in shock.”
So what was the biggest breakdown on the play?
“It was coaching No. 1, us not getting off blocks, and good execution on Southern Miss,” said Els, who's in charge of fixing the problem. “There will be some personnel changes, we're not quite sure who yet. "Schematically, a little adjustment here and there. I need to coach it better, because that's my unit. We'll get it fixed but hopefully you don't have to wait until something like that happens."
After the return, Nebraska is currently second to last in the country in kickoff return yardage defense.