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Spring Football Review: Frost’s Four Step Process to Fixing Special Teams

Iowa v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

I’m not sure why I signed up for this. Who wants to write an article about Nebraska special teams after the dumpster fire it has been under Scott Frost?

It is especially timely after the NCAA came down with the DEVASTING BLOW TO SCOTT FROST’S LEGACY!

No, to me it is a nothing burger but I’ve heard others say that it is a big deal because Nebraska still lost. Does that mean that it wouldn’t have been a big deal if they won? It is either a big deal or not.

What it should be is embarrassing. As anybody who has been embarrassed knows, that it goes away pretty quickly and you simply move on.

Scott Frost and Nebraska will move on. That is because there are things to fix on this football team and they might as well start with the special teams unit.

Frost has implemented the old fashioned four step process to fixing special teams. It’s tried. It’s true. It’s the process.

Step One: Hire a Coach

Hello Bill Busch.

Busch is the new special teams coordinator and the first coach devoted to special teams under the Scott Frost administration. Last season he served as a defensive analyst for the Huskers.

He previously served as the special teams coach from 2004-2007. During those times he also handled outside linebackers and safeties. So this will be the first time he will be solely devoted to special teams.

It also helps that he is a really good recruiter. That should pay dividends going forward.

Straight from his Huskers.com bio:

During his tenure, the Huskers blocked 16 kicks, including seven in 2005. Nebraska ranked in the top 25 nationally in net punting (24th in 2006) and punt returns (17th in 2005) under Busch, as well. NU’s kickoff coverage unit ranked 15th nationally in 2006 after finishing 22nd the previous year.

I mean, I think we should expect a major upgrade with that unit. I don’t even want to think about how many games that were losses which would have been wins if the special teams would have played better under Frost.

Step Two: Find a Punter

Brian Buschini is the truth.

Well maybe, we shouldn’t call him that yet but if he can punt at Nebraska like he did at Montana then he might as well get “the truth” tattooed on his forehead.

While at Montana, Buschini averaged 45.8 yards on 75 punts. In 2021 he won the Ray Guy Award for the best punter in the FCS.

His first punt during the red-white game resulted in a standing ovation from the crowd as it soared 63 yards.

To be fair, he had six other punts and he shanked a few. We will see if past results (at Montana) will equal future success.

If it does, then he will in fact be “the truth.”

Step Three: Find a Place-Kicker

If Brian Buschini is the truth, then hopefully Timmy Bleekrode will be the answer.

Chase Contreraz, Brendan Franke, Charlie Weinrich could be the answer as well but I think it’s going to end up being Timmy Bleekrode.

Bleekrode is a transfer from Furman. At Furman in 2021 he was 15 for 18 on field goals. More importantly, he was 9 of 9 on field goal attempts under 40 yards. In the case of PATs, he was 30 for 32.

There appears to be a certain strain of consistency and accuracy for Bleekrode which, if you watched the red-white game will definitely be a welcomed addition.

Step Four: Find a Returner

Now it is not definite who will be the returner for Nebraska in 2022, it appears that Trey Palmer has some experience at LSU and is an explosive athlete that actually can flip the field for Nebraska.

From his Huskers.com bio:

He had 23 punt returns for 188 yards and one touchdown at LSU with 15 kickoff returns for 394 yards and one touchdown.

I mean, just that sentence alone appears to be a major upgrade for Nebraska at those returner spots.

If Bill Busch is the coach and Brian Buschini is the truth and Timmy Bleekrode is the answer then Trey Palmer might be the fixer?

I need to work on that last one.