LINCOLN, Neb. —
Pelini has changed his leadership structure, naming four seniors as permanent captains. He previously named captains for each game, and the players elected captains following the season and announced them at the team banquet.
This year’s captains are Martinez, Long, receiver Quincy Enunwa and cornerback Ciante Evans. Each position group will have an assistant captain as well.
“It’s the first year Coach has put in captains, and we back every single one of our captains,” offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles said. “We have a great senior class. We’ve all been around. A lot of us have played a lot of football on both sides of the ball and I think that’s going to truly lead us over the hump.”
Nebraska has eight home games, including five in a row to start the season. The Huskers’ toughest non-conference game is at home against a UCLA team that beat them a year ago.
They go on the road to play Legends Division rival Michigan but won’t see Ohio State or Wisconsin in the regular season.
Linebacker David Santos said he couldn’t have drawn up a more favorable schedule.
“I’m not complaining,” he said.
Still, a poll of writers who cover the Big Ten picked Michigan to narrowly beat out the Huskers in the Legends, and Ohio State is the overwhelming choice to win the league and contend for the national championship.
Running back Ameer Abdullah isn’t ready to surrender anything to the Buckeyes.
“We haven’t even started practice yet,” he said. “Just to say a team is going to be there, that’s paying lip service. The season hasn’t even started. We all have to put in the work, take it week by week. You never know. Things happen all the time in college football. That’s why I love it.”