Eleven Nebraska defenders have earned Blackshirts.
Now they’re determined to keep them.
The black practice jerseys officially returned Monday, two days after Nebraska’s 23-9 victory against Michigan, when the Huskers limited the Wolverines to 188 yards and no touchdowns.
“But we have to keep playing to that standard every day,” senior linebacker Will Compton said. “We can’t feel like we’ve arrived or let up a little bit, just because we got ‘em now. We have to keep coming out here with the same focus we have been the past couple weeks.”
Players with Blackshirts are seniors Daimion Stafford, P.J. Smith, Cameron Meredith, Baker Steinkuhler, Eric Martin, Alonzo Whaley, Sean Fisher and Compton, and juniors Jason Ankrah, Stanley-Jean Baptiste and Ciante Evans.
Compton spearheaded the idea of not wearing Blackshirts in practice last week, even though coaches awarded them after a 29-28 victory against Northwestern on Oct. 20.
“I looked over at ‘Zo and said, ‘Let’s not wear these,’” Compton said, referring to fellow senior linebacker Whaley.
The idea quickly spread.
“We knew Michigan posed a big challenge, a big threat to us, and you don’t want to just wear (the Blackshirts) and then lay an egg like we did last year against Northwestern,” Compton said. “We wanted to play consistent another week. We just didn’t feel like we deserved them yet."
Nebraska is now No. 26 nationally in total defense, allowing 336.4 yards per game. The Huskers were ranked 46th just two weeks ago.