Welcome to our first Game Thread of the 2023 Nebraska football season. It’s the first one of the Matt Rhule era and it comes against P.J. Fleck in his sixth season at Minnesota.
Nate M’s Quick Synopsis: I think Nebraska has nothing to lose in this game but a lot to win. P.J. Fleck has an established program in his sixth year and almost every advantage in this game. If Nebraska can get a lead then it could be theirs to take because Minnesota generally wants you to make the mistake. If they are behind they might have to get away from running the ball 70% of the time like they did last season.
Nate M’s Prediction: Minnesota 20 - Nebraska 10. Until I see differently, I expect defenses to load the box and make Nebraska throw the ball. In game one, that will be too tough of a task for Nebraska.
Location: Huntington Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN
Time: 7 p.m. Central
TV Broadcast Info: FOX (Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt and Jenny Taft)
Radio Broadcast Info: Husker Radio Network (Greg Sharpe, Damon Benning and Jessica Coody)
Internet Radio: Huskers.com
Nebraska-Minnesota Series History:
All-Time Series: Minnesota leads, 36-25-2
In Minneapolis: Minnesota leads, 24-13-2
As Big Ten Foes: Minnesota leads, 7-5
Win Streak: Minnesota, 4 games
The Matchup from Huskers.com:
Nebraska kicks off its 134th season on Thursday when the Cornhuskers begin the 2023 campaign with a Big Ten Conference road matchup at Minnesota. Thursday’s season opener - the Nebraska debut for head coach Matt Rhule - will be televised on FOX with radio coverage on the Huskers Radio Network.
Rhule returns to the college game after spending the past three seasons as a head coach in the National Football League. In his last season as a college head coach in 2019, Rhule was the Big 12 Coach of the Year after guiding Baylor to an 11-3 record and a No. 13 final ranking. Each of the Bears’ three losses came to top-10 opponents: a three-point setback to No. 10 Oklahoma in November, a seven-point overtime loss to the sixth-ranked Sooners in the Big 12 Championship Game and a 26-14 defeat to No. 5 Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.
A proven program builder, Rhule guided both Temple and Baylor to the highest win total in school history in his third season at each school. Rhule will not make his Memorial Stadium debut until Sept. 16, as NU begins the season with back-to-back road games for the first time since 1995. Rhule is the first Husker head coach to make his debut in a road game since Bernie Masterson, whose first game was also at Minnesota on Sept. 28, 1946 (33-6 loss).
As for Nebraska, the Huskers are beginning the season with a Big Ten Conference game away from home for the fourth straight season. NU traveled to Ohio State to open the Covid-shortened 2020 season, while the Huskers began the 2021 season at Illinois and took on Northwestern in Dublin, Ireland, in last year’s season opener.