They're Not Candy

By at August 26, 2008 | 12:00 AM | Print

tn 510x510 bobo They're Not Candy
Earn it.

That’s Bo Pelini’s message to his defense as to when – if at all – the first-team unit will get to wear Blackshirts.

“There’s a chance I might wait for a long time,” he said at Tuesday’s press conference. “That’s up to we as a staff to talk about. Not quite sure.”


“Why not?” Pelini retorted. “What’s a Blackshirt mean if it’s just a symbol you haven’t earned? Isn’t that the point? I think that’s the point. And everybody wants to rush this thing. It’s the same way when I was here the first time. I don’t see the point in handing them out to hand them out.”

If it weren’t blunt, it wouldn’t be Bo.

The straight talk was indicative of Pelini’s 20-minute session with the media, not much of which was spent talking about the Cornhuskers’ Saturday opponent, Western Michigan. Questions focused on housecleaning from fall camp, changes to the depth chart, and general “first-game” softballs.

Pelini joked about his “grouchy” demeanor after Monday’s practice – the Huskers didn’t put away the typical distractions that come from the first day of school – but he generally praised his team’s overall development and self-discipline.

“Knock on wood, we haven’t had a lot of incidences,” he said. “They set pretty high standards for themselves. They were involved in setting a lot of the rules and team guidelines and they didn’t put a lot of gray in it.”

Pelini also shared his concerns with Nebraska adapting to a 40-second game clock started right after the previous play vs. a 25-second clock started on a referee’s whistle.

But the golden nugget, of course, was the comment about the Blackshirts. Until Tuesday, Pelini had been mum on the issue, typically answering with “not yet.” Four days before Western Michigan, he laid out a more detailed philosophy.

Husker defenders didn’t seem too surprised by it.

“If we’re not playing up to par, I guess we’ll get them whenever we deserve them,” middle linebacker Phillip Dillard said. “Until then, we’ll stick with the red and white."