Wrapping things up for the Big Red’s Guide to the Dog Days, we’ve covered staying out of the headlines, getting the hosses up front in sync, getting No. 22 a No. 2 and Taylor’s leap to upperclassmanship. Last, but certainly not least, for Nebraska to have what will no doubt be a surprisingly 2012 season to most of the nation, Bo Pelini wants to see something just as badly as any Husker fan.
The Return of the Blackshirts
The search is on for the Blackshirts. The REAL Blackshirts. It’s almost unfathomable that Pelini even handed out the dark-shaded jerseys last season. Of course, that was after Nebraska stymied Sparty 24-3 in Lincoln, the one game where it seemed the defense put it all together.
Before and after that game, Nebraska often looked lost with busts in the secondary, linebackers unable to stop power runners and a defensive line that was pushed back far more often more than it pushed.
If not for the heroics of Lavonte David, the Big Red may have been staring at a 7-5 record. That’s how much of an impact one player, and one defense, can have on a team built on the theory of preventing points.
It’s time for new faces to step up.
Mo Seisay must become a lockdown corner, a likely starting trio of Will Compton, Sean Fisher and Alonzo Whaley must lead by example while fulfilling potential and Baker Steinkuhler becomes a beast fans haven’t seen since the days of Suh.
There is much hard work to be done to fill in the Blackshirts two-deep, emphasis on deep, as Nebraska tries to develop as much depth as possible.
In all likelihood, 2011 was a blip on the radar. Bo Pelini can get hot under the collar, but if there’s one thing he absolutely won’t stand for, it’s 11 unearned seats at the defensive dinner table. It’s time for the Blackshirts to come home.