Nebraska is back in black.
Literally. The Blackshirts alternate uniforms that made their debut last season against Indiana are making their second-ever appearance on Saturday. The Huskers (1-2) host Illinois (1-3) at 11 a.m. with the game televised by FS1.
Like I said. ☠️
(via Marcus Fleming’s IG Story) pic.twitter.com/nuijP6n02k
— Erin Sorensen (@erinsorensen) November 21, 2020
The Huskers handed out 12 Blackshirts to members of the defense following last week’s 30-23 win over Penn State. Nebraska allowed 501 yards to the Nittany Lions on 91 plays, but the defense was instrumental in the win, coming up with two stops late in the fourth quarter on Penn State drives that advanced inside the Huskers’ 15-yard line.
“I think in recent years—and I might be guilty of it—those have been given out a little too easy,” Scott Frost said of the Blackshirts on Thursday. “We didn’t give any out until after this last game. They don’t have them permanently. If they don’t live up to the standards of the Blackshirt, they won’t keep them.”
Nebraska gave out 12 of the coveted practice uniforms this week. That included all of the regular starters on the defensive line, in the secondary and at inside linebacker. Three outside linebackers––Garrett Nelson, Caleb Tannor and JoJo Domann––also received Blackshirts.
The Huskers unveiled the Blackshirts-themed uniforms in August last year, but unlike previous Husker alternates it wasn’t intended as a one-off.
“Honestly, I’ve been thinking about this a long time, way before I was the coach at Nebraska,” Frost said last summer. “I’ve seen a lot of alternate uniforms at Nebraska, but I haven’t seen one specifically for the Blackshirts.
“I think I can spill the beans, I think by next year hopefully we have a home and away version of this. Down the road I’d like to see it be a tradition that if the defense has a great game and holds an opponent under so many points then they earn the right to wear Blackshirts the next week. I think that would be another source of pride for our defense. We probably won’t start that this year. I just want to get the uniforms broken in and make sure the kids like them, but I’d like to see that happen next year.”
Next year is now. Nebraska does have an away version of the Blackshirts alternate, again featuring the famous logo on the sleeve of white jerseys with black numbers. That is paired with black pants and the traditional white helmet with black logos, stripe and face mask.
That uniform, unveiled in October, has yet to make its debut for 2020, but the home alternate is back as of Saturday.