LINCOLN–(NU Athletics Aug. 29)–Nebraska head coach Matt Rhule met with members of the media after Tuesday’s practice. Rhule discussed how the leadership on the team will affect this Thursday’s game against Minnesota and what it means to be a Blackshirt.

“Our Blackshirts are definitely our best players,” Rhule said. “Being a single digit means you care about the team, you’re not just worried about yourself. That’ll be a priority, especially in this game. We’ll have to match Minnesota’s discipline and the level they play at.”

Rhule also spoke on the young age of some of the players and how that affects the starting lineup.

“I don’t ever want to use age as an excuse for why they should or shouldn’t play,” he said. “There’s going to be ups and downs, highs or lows. That’s going to be the same for the entire team. We’re trying to build a team that is resilient and that doesn’t fold.”

He addressed the status of the special team’s room.

“We have a really strong specialist room,” Rhule said. “When you have three guys that can punt and kickoff the way we do and when you have two special snappers that we do I don’t worry. We have a lot of depth in that room.”

Rhule discussed the philosophy with the Blackshirts this year.

“The Blackshirts for us will be the guys that start the game for us,” he said. “We went with 11 guys and for me, it’s the guys that start that week. When I think about the Blackshirts it’s all about the way that they played. It’s a vicious and demolishing defense. It’s about upholding a legacy and raising those standards for the future.”

The Huskers’ season opener against Minnesota will be on Thursday, Aug. 31 in Minneapolis. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (CT) and will air on FOX.