LINCOLN, Neb - With All-American punt returner De'Mornay Pierson-El down, Nebraska will look to possibly use two punt returners against BYU's rugby style scheme on Saturday. Junior Jordan Westerkamp is the No. 1 returner on the depth chart with Pierson-El out.
Head coach Mike Riley talked about his philosphy regarding the position and using his No. 1 receiver on Monday during his press conference.
"The first thing we look at back there, after we lose De’Mornay, is we look for ball security and (Jordan’s) our best," said Riley. "He’s going to catch the football. He’s going to take care of the football. So the number one thing that you want, initially when the other team is punting, is you want the ball back. So the handling of the ball, making good decisions, Jordan is very good at that. So whether he’s playing offense or whether he’s playing as a punt returner, he’s really important in all that and that’s what goes into making that decision. You just have to put the most reliable guy back there first, and then he can make something happen with it."
Riley went on to talk about this week's opposing punter.
"I guess he’s a star on the rugby team," said Riley. "He made some big play the other day to win a championship or something. He’s their new punter, so you can imagine what kind of punts we’re going to be facing. It’s been interesting the last five years or so how the punt return game, how the punting game, has changed dramatically in college football. Lots of different points for the punter where the punter punts from. We even played a guy last year from Hawaii that punted with either foot, going either way. So you spend most of your time trying to make sure you just contain him and keep him from running. We don’t know this guy real well, but we know that about him, that he’s an all-around athlete and we’ll probably see lots of bouncing balls."
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