Nebraska Football

Nebraska Football: Mickey Joseph makes right decision with Blackshirts

Nebraska football interim head coach Mickey Joseph announced the Blackshirts would not be returning for the 2022 season. Blackshirts have been given as an honorary gesture to the best defensive players over the course of the season.

The Blackshirts have not come back ever since Joseph has been named the interim head coach. The Blackshirts had been a tradition since the 1964 season, when Bob Devaney was the head coach.

Joseph officially removed the Blackshirt tradition following the Oklahoma game. The program lost by a 49-14 score, and  defensive coordinator Eric Chinander was fired.

Nebraska football has had bounce back performances on defense, as they have not allowed a second-half point in two straight games. The strong defensive play has helped them defeat Rutgers, and Indiana. Bill Busch has taken over the defensive unit, and has been able to tighten things up after a rough start to the season for the defense.

Nebraska football currently ranks last in the Big Ten in rushing yards allowed with 186 per game. They are slightly improved in passing defense, as they are fourth in the Big Ten with 263 yards allowed per game.

Joseph elaborated on the decision Thursday evening, as noted by Evan Bland of the Omaha World-Herald.

“I think with this group, being a Blackshirt adds more pressure to them,” Joseph said. “And if they don’t play well, then they get a whole bunch of negative comments about the Blackshirts. We’re talking about being just a team, so we’re going to be a team right now and we’re going to let the Blackshirts sit down for a while.

“We won’t give them back this year so everybody can stop wondering what we’re going to do. They’re not getting them back this year.”

This is a smart move. I understand that it is tradition. However, it does add more pressure, and that added pressure is really not necessary. I love the fact that Joseph this is an emphasis on being one unit and one team. He made the correct decision here, and I certainly am in favor of it. It’s about wins and losses and playing together. Keeping something for the sake of tradition is often not a good reason to keep it

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