Nebraska CB Cam Taylor-Britt botches punt return, leads to Illinois safety

Cam Taylor-Britt botches Nebraska punt return vs Illinois 8/28/2021

Nebraska Cornhuskers junior cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt botched a first quarter punt return, making a series of mistakes that led to a safety for the opposing Illinois Fighting Illini. 

It happened with under five minutes remaining in a scoreless first quarter as Illinois punted from their own 40 yard line on 4th and 17. Taylor-Britt lined up on the 10-yard line and chased the ball all the way back to the 1-yard line instead of just letting the ball go into the end zone. Making matters worse, his backward momentum caused him to slip as he attempted to change direction to return the punt as an Illinois defender quickly approached. As the defender grabbed Taylor-Britt, pushing him backwards into the end zone, Taylor-Britt tried to avoid the tackle by tossing the ball back into the field of play. The ball went out of bounds at around the 5-yard line, but the officials correctly called Taylor-Britt for an illegal forward pass, resulting in a safety. The play was reviewed as it appeared that Taylor-Britt's knee nearly touched the ground at the spot where he caught the ball and tried to change direction, which would have given Nebraska a first down inside their own 1-yard line. However, the result of the play stood after the review. 

The safety gave Illinois a 2-0 lead. As this FCS game had the earliest Saturday start time, the safety goes down as the first score of the 2021 FCS season. 

Taylor-Britt shouldn't have even thought about returning this punt, and he has to know that. Tough way to open the season, but it is a long season. Plenty of time for him to put this one behind him. Hopefully he learns from this one.
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