Nebraska football head coach Matt Rhule has his goals laid out for the 2023 season. Some fans might be surprised that his top goal isn’t to have a winning record. His goal is to make sure that the Huskers are a team that is feared again.
Rhule also knows that in order to get to a level where Nebraska football is feared again, there’s a step before that. The Huskers need to be respected before anyone is going to be feared, and that’s a main goal of the 2023 season for the first-year head coach.
Rhule spoke about the goal of being respected during Big Ten Media days to 93.7 The Ticket ahead of his appearance on the main stage.
"“There was a day when playing the University of Nebraska … they were feared. And before you can be feared, you must be respected. And so we want to be a team that wants to be feared again but we must be respected and so this year to me, we have to take back respect. And we have to earn respect. And we have to earn the respect of the other guys in the locker room, we have to earn the respect of our opponents, I mean I want our opponents after they play us; win lose or draw to be like dang those guys are real.”"
Rhule went on to say that he also wants the Nebraska football fans to respect the effort. He added that if a team is playing in a respected way, they will win more than they lose.
“Eventually, when you get respected long enough, you start teetering to knocking the door down to get feared. And we’ll be feared again, and maybe it will be this year, I don’t know. That’s not up to me that’s up to them [the players]”
Nebraska football being feared doesn’t seem like just talk from Matt Rhule
During his appearance on the main stage, Rhule talked again about wanting to get respect back for the program. It’s certainly his mantra for the preseason.
Certainly the road back to respect and being feared is something previous Husker coaches have talked about in the past. Scott Frost had some very bawdy talk about how quickly NU was going to get back to prominence. In the end, he couldn’t make it happen.
It doesn’t feel just like talk when Matt Rhule says things like this. I’ve said before he has an air that makes his comments contain more weight. Perhaps it’s because he’s shown he knows how to get what he wants done, done.
So here’s hoping Nebraska football is respected and feared sooner, rather than later.