At least 20 Huskers were given Blackshirts at the start of Monday’s practice after shutting down wide receiver BJ Cunningham and No. 9 Michigan State.
Eighteen Blackshirt players practiced Monday, with the other two, defensive tackle Thad Randle (knee) and Ciante Evans (undisclosed), sitting out with injuries. The 20 Blackshirts are the most in recent memory for Nebraska.
Last season, head coach Bo Pelini gave the Blackshirts to 12 Huskers on Sept. 23 after Nebraska’s rout of Washington. Oct. 31 is the latest time Nebraska has given out the Blackshirts since 2008, when Pelini didn’t give them out until Nov. 11.
“I feel like we’ve got to earn the Blackshirts because that’s a statement,” cornerback Alfonzo Dennard said. “If he gave it to us early in the season and we’re not doing a very good job, it really wouldn’t mean anything.”
The Huskers will likely need to win out against Northwestern, Michigan, Penn State and Iowa to make the Big Ten Championship game, and the Blackshirts will have to play a huge role in that success to shut down players like Michigan’s Denard Robinson and Penn State’s Silas Redd.
The 20 Blackshirts are listed below by position.
Photo Courtesy the Lincoln Journal Star
By Chris Peters