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Nebraska Football Practice Report August 23

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Blackshirts, COVID forfeits and Scott Frost does not have time for questions from mere mortals

2021 Big Ten Football Media Day Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

There is a lot of news today! The Blackshirts were handed out and the Big Ten sent out a statement. Several players and Coach Frost also talked to the media after practice today.

Big Ten Forfeit Policy

The official position of the Big Ten on if a team misses a game due to COVID related reasons is that they will forfeit. The full statement:

In collaboration and communication with the Big Ten Conference Athletic Directors, Chancellors and Presidents, the Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases, and the Sports Medicine Committee – effective today – the conference has determined that if one of its member institutions is unable to play a conference contest due to COVID-19, that contest shall be declared a forfeit and will not be rescheduled. That contest shall be considered a loss for the team impacted by COVID-19 and a win for its opponent in the conference standings. If both of the two competing teams are unable to participate in a scheduled Conference competition due to COVID-19 and as a result the competition is unable to occur on the calendar day on which it is scheduled, the competition shall be considered a “no contest.”

Click here to view the 2021-22 Big Ten Conference Forfeiture Policy.

Head Coach Scott Frost

Coach Frost was not chatty today. At. All. It wasn’t quite “I’m just here so I don’t get fined” but he came pretty close.

Backup QB?

We have multiple guys that can play and they are all prepping hard for this game.

Captains - Damion Daniels has really set himself up for that the last few years

I can’t wait to watch him play this weekend. The team voted on captains and he was one of the four.

Remade culture? Player leaders - what has changed?

I like how they are preparing for the game this Saturday. I like how they’ve prepared for camp.

We’re getting good leadership. The focus is there, the guys are excited.

Illinois - difficult with new staff - can you go back and look at personnel - who jumps out?

They’re some challenge to playing a team with a new staff. We didn’t play well last year. We need to play better. The guys are locked in on that.

Any clarity on COVID protocols

I think we’re in a good spot. I think there will be an announcement from someone beside me soon. I want the kids thinking about Saturday.

There will be once week testing for anyone not vaccinated.

Are you where you want to be in game week?

You’re never 100% satisfied, but I like where we are.

It will be hot - depth important?

We’re doing what we can to get them ready. You can always expect a warm game early in this league.

Running backs

Coach Held is an important part of our team and he’s doing a good job getting those guys up to speed. We’ll have several of them ready to go.

Defense - turnovers

I feel good about it. I look forward to watching them play Saturday.

News from the Players

Blackshirt news!!

Cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt

Very few athletic directors have more bona fides in giving out a Blackshirt than Alberts.

He said it was him, Marquel Dismuke and Deontai Williams that got Blackshirts. That means the other corner spot is still an open competition. What worries me is that Erik Chinander has said that he want sometime to step up and grab that spot. If they haven’t seen that in practice, it looks like it may depend on who can step up at game time...which isn’t ideal.

Cam also coyly laughed and said something to the effect of ‘you never know’ when asked “you’ve been lobbying to never come off the field, will we see you in offensive packages?”

Tight End Austin Allen

Austin Allen talked about being a captain and how that doesn’t mean he has more voice than others - for example “Cam Jurgens is one of the best leaders on the team but he isn’t going to be quiet just because he’s not a captain.”

Allen also had praise for Chris Hickman and how hard it has been to switch back and forth between wideout and tight end “It’s hard to put on weight, lose weight, put on weight” and “we’ve put him through a lot” and “he probably has the best understanding of the offense because he’s seen it from every angle.”

He also mentioned a transfer player recently converted from receiver (Brewington) and Nate Boerkircher.

He said their goals as captains are to put out fires before they get to the coaches.

Quarterback Adrian Martinez

Adrian Martinez was repping Ben Stille’s hat and Cam Jurgen’s shirt at the podium. “Anything to support what the guys are doing.”

He is very proud of being named the first three-time captain “But I have a lot of work to do.”

I’m reading between the lines, but Logan Smothers’ name is usually mentioned first by coaches and was mentioned first by Adrian today when talking about the backup quarterbacks. I don’t know if he will be the backup, but it seems to be trending that way.

Adrian seems excited about the new stuff the offense has installed and said that they want to be a “hard-nosed team.”

Linebacker JoJo Domann

JoJo Domann got his Blackshirt and was excited to get it. The other linebackers were Nick Henrich, Luke Reimer, Garrett Nelson, and Caleb Tannor.