After a tremendous effort from the defense last Saturday, Bo Pelini handed out 19 Blackshirts to his core defensive unit this week. It was a way to say “Job well done” while reminding the players of the four regular season “tasks” left undone.

Since 1964, when the Blackshirt tradition was first introduced, few programs in America have played defense like Nebraska. According to Omaha World Herald, in 23 of the 47 seasons, the Huskers have finished top 10 nationally in scoring defense.

But this season the Blackshirts are giving up 22.5 points per game through last Saturday, and are currently ranked 33rd in the nation in scoring defense. Although that’s going to improve, provided we continue to play like we did against Sparty. Thankfully, there’s ample reason to believe we will do just that when Northwestern takes the field at Memorial Stadium tomorrow.

But let’s not get too comfortable or too far ahead of ourselves. Bo Pelini expects “a heck of a football game” from the Wildcats. He also says, “We have a lot of respect for the football team coming in here to play us.”

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