Connect with us


Matt Rhule not ready to name starting Nebraska quarterback

Matt Rhule coaches the entire Nebraska football team, so as his offense finished a 99-yard touchdown drive in the second major scrimmage of spring camp, he was torn.

“One shoulder is celebrating,” Rhule said, “and the other one is ‘what in the heck is happening here?’”

On Saturday, the Husker offense took charge, Rhule said, with its “most dominant day” he’s seen, more or less, since arriving at NU. That’s 14 months’ worth of practices, scrimmages and games, and welcome news for a unit that averaged just 18 points per contest in 2023.

“First time ever at practice,” Rhule said. “Might have been eight, nine 10, 12 touchdowns out there today.”

Over 120 live scrimmage plays, NU’s offense did well thanks to explosive pass plays and Rhule’s willingness to let downs extend longer than usual, since the quarterbacks couldn’t be hit. Rhule also chose to have four veteran starters — Ty Robinson, Nash Hutmacher, Isaac Gifford and Tommi Hill — watch scrimmage instead of participating in it.

People are also reading…

“The ability to throw and catch — guys making plays after the catch — has been good,” Rhule said. The Huskers protected the ball well, too, Rhule said, with just one fumble from the third-team unit on offense.

One of those touchdown drives, Rhule said, was a 99-yard march. Rhule didn’t recall which of Nebraska’s three quarterbacks — Heinrich Haarberg, Dylan Raiola or Daniel Kaelin — led that march.

“All three quarterbacks played really well,” Rhule said, declining to get into specifics. “…the quarterbacks excelled at taking what was there.”

And while Raiola is the presumptive favorite to eventually win the quarterback battle — he’s the five-star recruit with the 70-yard arm and former NFL star for a dad — coaches have been quick to praise all three contenders. Haarberg, Rhule said, is “light years” ahead of last year as a passer, and all three QBs made plays Saturday like they’d want to be the starter next season.

Rhule said he’d “prefer” the quarterback race extend as long as possible because it helps him see which quarterback handles “frustration” the best. All three, he said, are doing “good things” and will get a “fair shot” in camp.

“I want them to have to fight for it and earn it,” Rhule said, citing a comment from Miami Heat coach Eric Spoelstra, who values “things you can’t buy.”

Rhule said he wants one quarterback to “feel like he has the race” only be challenged by another quarterback among the three.

“It’ll elevate all of us,” Rhule said. “And then, when we know, we know. But I wouldn’t anticipate us saying ‘hey, this guy is the starter’ today. Because I thought all three quarterbacks went out there today and said ‘Hey, I can be the starter.’

“And that’s my challenge to the players: Don’t worry about where you stand. At all positions. Don’t worry about how many opportunities you’re getting. Just worry about what the tape looks like. Do you look like a Big Ten-winning quarterback? Do you look like a Big Ten-winning left tackle? Do you look like a Big Ten-winning D-tackle? If you do, your time will come.”

Source link

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply


Must See

Advertisement Enter ad code here



More in Football