Story by NU Athletic Communications
Nebraska head coach Matt Rhule met with members of the media following Thursday’s practice. He explained what the team has done to block out the noise ahead of Saturday’s game.
“I start the season off by deleting Twitter and Instagram and just live my life old school,” Rhule said. “If I want to get the news, I read the paper, but the players don’t. We don’t talk about those things. Nothing about this game for us is anything other than football. It’s a great opportunity versus a great opponent. The players have been very focused and very locked in. Our practices have been really hard, and our guys have responded really well.”
Rhule talked about the team’s response to adversity.
“I think it’s in their nature, he said. “There’s so many guys here that are true Cornhusker men that want this program to be great, and they’re built on grittiness. We’re not a super flashy organization. We want to be a gritty, tough organization. That’s our identity”
Rhule addressed the importance of starting the game strong.
“I think Gabe (Ervin Jr.) is a factor. Rahmir (Johnson) is a factor,” Rhule said. “Those guys have to play really well for us. They had explosive plays in the last game: one on the kickoff return, one running that allowed us to get going. I’m hoping we start with a little more rhythm than we did the last game, but no matter how we start, we’re going to think about the last five minutes of last game and how we can improve that in this game.”
Rhule discussed the weight of performing well on third downs.
“For us, it’s converting third downs and not turning the ball over. When you have four turnovers, you’re going to have less plays. And then on defense, challenge those guys to be good on third downs. We have to be good on third down defense. We have to try to take the ball away.”
The Huskers will kick off against Colorado at 11 a.m. (CT) on Saturday, Sept. 9 in Boulder, Colo. The game will be televised on FOX and radio coverage will be provided by Huskers Radio Network and Huskers.com.