Matt Rhule explained why Nebraska football will leap forward in 2024

  • . Rhule said the players were motivated to win when he arrived.
    2. Key players such as Ty Robinson, Isaac Gifford, and Bryce Benhart decided to come back for an extra year, showing a high level of buy-in.
    3. According to Rhule, Having older players with buy-in makes everything easier.
Nebraska's head coach Matt Rhule looks on from the sideline
Nebraska's head coach Matt Rhule looks on from the sideline / Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA

When Matt Rhule was first hired to take over the Nebraska football program, there was a lot of talk about his track record. That track record showed that teams he took over took big leaps in Year 2 and Year 3 after struggling in Year 1.

The Nebraska football team struggled in Year 1. To the tune of missing a bowl for a seventh straight season. To the tune of losing four straight games to end the season after starting 5-3 in 2023.

Earlier this week, Rhule appeared on the Hard Count podcast to discuss a myriad of topics. Among those was why he felt the Nebraska Cornhuskers would take that famous leap from Year 1 struggles to Year 2 success.

Rhule said that the biggest reason his team will see a big improvement in 2024 is that it starts with who is coming back for one more season. 

“I think we started at a much closer place. When I got here, the players were really hungry to win, and they still are really hungry,” Rhule said. “We had some key players, Ty Robinson, Isaac Gifford, and Bryce Benhart, decide to come back for an extra year. When you have that level of buy-in from your older players, it makes everything easier.”

Nebraska football’s Matt Rhule knows the proof is in the pudding

While Rhule made it clear he believes that he has the right pieces in place to take a big step forward this season, he also knows the bottom line.

The Nebraska football head coach knows that having those key players is big. He also said he knows the team needs to go do it now

That will start with the Nebraska football team working together in spring practice. Should all of that come together well? Should new players like Dylan Raiola and Dante Dowdell play well together, then maybe the Huskers could be the Darkhorse Big Ten contenders some believe they will be.