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Physical Nebraska Football Might Be Back at Memorial Stadium

Northern Illinois v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

Billy Kemp’s eight yard touchdown reception in the first quarter was the first time Nebraska scored in the first half all season long. It only took three games.

On the other hand if it wasn’t for a turnover on a blindside hit on Haarberg on Nebraska’s own 12 yard line then Northern Illinois likely does not score last night. Northern Illinois averaged 2.3 yards per play.

After three games I think we know the type of team we should expect for the 2023 Nebraska football team.

It will be a defensive centric team with an offense that, hopefully, can play complementary football.

Matt Rhule said as much after the game. “I challenged the defense to think of this as a defensive team. When you play defense, people often say it was an ugly game, because everyone just wants to see offense. But they’re fun to watch. They’re fun to be around and they played to the very end.”

Say what you want about Matt Rhule thus far, but one thing that has to be said is that the physicality of this football team is night and day compared to the style of teams under Frost and Riley.

This physical mentality is spilling over into the offense as well. When asked about Heinrich Haarberg in the huddle, Gabe Ervin Jr. gave us a little insight into their mentality. When asked about Heinrich Haarberg in the huddle, Ervin said that Haarberg came in and said “we are going to pound (it) right now.” Then Haarberg goes ahead and lowers the boom on a Northern Illinois defender.

I believe that the team we saw against Northern Illinois is likely what we will see for the rest of the season. Great defense. Complimentary and opportunistic offense.

It sure helps when you don’t turn the ball over.

We have all week to argue over who should be the quarterback but for today I think we can say that that it is nice to see a physical football team at Memorial Stadium once again.