Big Ten expands travel rosters to accommodate new NCAA redshirt rule

Big Ten expands travel rosters to accommodate new NCAA redshirt rule
There will be more Huskers on the sidelines for Big Ten road games this fall. (RYAN SODERLIN/THE WORLD-HERALD)

A change in Big Ten rules just before the start of the 2018 football season will allow league teams to take more players to conference road games.

The Big Ten travel roster limit increased from 70 to 74 this week, coach Scott Frost said Monday. It’s an adjustment following a new NCAA rule that allows players to play in four games while still retaining their redshirt.

Frost said NU heard Monday morning the roster would grow to 74.

“I think that’s a good idea,” Frost said. “If you change the redshirt rule — and we can play redshirts in four games per year — most likely those guys are going to get limited reps on offense or defense and might play on a special team or two. It might be hard to use those guys in one of their four games on the road with travel restrictions. So that’ll give us some freedom to those guys we need to get experience in a limited fashion at away games as well as home games.”

The Big Ten had to make a decision this week because the league has a conference game in Week One. Northwestern travels to Purdue on Thursday. In many years, Big Ten games didn’t start until mid-September.

When Frost coached in the American Athletic Conference, there was no travel limit. Central Florida, Frost’s former team, usually took between 73-75 players on the road, according to an NU football spokesman.

Quick hits

» Nebraska’s roster is at 136 players, and 90 of the players are either freshmen and sophomores. All of NU’s quarterbacks and tight ends are underclassmen. The position groups with the lowest percentage of underclassmen are defensive line (53 percent) and running back (42 percent).

» NU has won 31 of its last 32 home openers. Its lone loss was in 2015 in a 33-28 defeat to BYU. The Cougars won by Hail Mary.

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