Lincoln- The Nebraska football team practiced for just less than two hours Thursday inside the Hawks Championship Center and on the Ed and Joyanne Gass Practice Fields as the Huskers finish up preparations for South Dakota State on Saturday. After practice, Head Coach Bo Pelini addressed the media and announced that 12 Blackshirts were awarded to Nebraska's first- string defenders.
"It is a tradition and it is one that I believe in," Pelini said. "You pick the time that you think is right."
Pelini commented that he has been pleased with the attention by the players and the tempo throughout this week of practice.
"It was good," Pelini said. "I thought the attention to detail was pretty good. We still have a few things to clean up, but I thought it was a good practice."
Pelini has seen good things out of senior safety Ricky Thenarse. After sitting out last year due to injury, Thenarse has played a key role in NU's secondary so far in 2010, and was among the defenders sporting black on Thursday.
"I think he has played well," Pelini said. "I think he still has to work on some consistency at times. He has to make sure he doesn't have any mental lapses. I think he has come a long way. Having sat out the whole year last year and came back, I think he has come back strong and I think he is playing some good football but I think the best is still ahead of him."
Pelini also noted the improved blocking by Nebraska's wide receiver corps, highlighted by the recent efforts of Brandon Kinnie.
"I think they're doing well," Pelini said. "Big plays in the run game don't happen if you're not blocking down the field. You look at Roy's touchdown the other day, BK (Brandon Kinnie) did a heck of a job on the corner and helped spring Roy. A lot of that is about effort. Obviously technique plays a part of it, but getting down, not being lazy and making sure you find people down the field. They've done a good job of it."
The Huskers and Jackrabbits are scheduled to kick off on Saturday at 6 p.m. inside Memorial Stadium. The game is available through FSN-PPV.