Arguably Nebraska’s biggest weakness in 2016 was its special teams play, or lack thereof.
As a result, Mike Riley had to make a tough decision.
On Sunday, the team announced that it let go of special teams coordinator Bruce Read, who had been on Riley’s staff for 16 years.
“I want to thank Bruce for his hard work and contributions to our football program over the past two years. I also appreciate the contributions he made while a member of my staffs prior to Nebraska,” Riley said in a statement. “As we continue to build our program with the pursuit of championships at the forefront of everything we do, we will look for a great coach, recruiter and teacher to join our staff.”
Read’s departure came on the heels of a lackluster season in the department. Special teams plagued the Huskers in their three losses, especially on Friday vs. Iowa. Nebraska had penalties on extra points, field goals and punts.
Even when Nebraska wasn’t giving yards on special teams, the final numbers weren’t pretty:
#Huskers '16 special team national rankings
Net punt: 35.5 (127)
KR: 22.0 (41)
KR defense: 21.9 (T-90)
PR defense: 11.2 (106)
PR: 7.3 (74)
— Husker Extra (@huskerextra) November 27, 2016
Nebraska was ranked No. 23 in the Associated Press poll. Despite the subpar finish, the Huskers will have a chance to end 2016 with double-digit wins for the first time since 2012.