5 Expectations (not Predictions) for Nebraska Soccer in 2023

This week, I’ve been requested a number of instances what I feel will occur with Nebraska soccer in opposition to Minnesota and for your complete season.

I’ll be sincere. I actually don’t know what’s going to occur in Nebraska’s first recreation.

Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and native media are making their picks. It’s their job.

However the whole lot is so, so new for Matt Rhule’s Huskers. It’s all a guessing recreation.

Nebraska doesn’t simply have a brand new teaching workers. Clearly, they’ve new offensive and defensive schemes. Nevertheless it additionally has a brand new philosophy, a brand new mindset, a brand new tradition, a brand new off-field help system, and on and on.

How may anybody have even an inkling of what we’ll see on Thursday or seven weeks from now? How foolish is it to foretell who will win when Nebraska performs Iowa on…NOVEMBER 23?!

There’s actually no solution to know. I can’t even faux.

And you may’t both.

That’s why I’ll soak all of it in on Thursday night time because the Huskers play the Gophers. As a fan, not a cynic. Arduous as it’s, I don’t wish to get caught up within the consequence. I wish to benefit from the course of. (Someplace, Bo Pelini heard this and is smiling.)

Cliché, I do know. However at this level in my Husker soccer fandom, I’ll take “belief the method” over outcomes for sanity’s sake.

I hope you do the identical.

5 issues to anticipate from Nebraska Soccer in 2023

I received’t make any daring predictions on video games for this season…but. By 10:30 pm on Thursday night time, you and I’ll have a a lot clearer image of what this Nebraska soccer crew shall be. I’ll have my Colorado and season predictions out quickly sufficient.

Within the meantime, I supply 5 expectations Husker followers ought to have for this season. Matt Rhule alluded to some of those in his press convention a number of days in the past. I’m liberally borrowing from him.

1. Nebraska will play laborious.

Rhule mentioned this in his press convention final week. You may’t train ardour. You both have it otherwise you don’t. Rhule believes–and I’ve each motive to belief him–that he has the blokes who’ve that keenness for the “N.”

Nebraska didn’t lose video games previously a number of years for lack of effort. It was for different causes (see factors 2 and three). Once more this 12 months, Nebraska has the gamers who will depart all of it out on the sector. And that’s a great place to start out in 12 months 1.

Will enjoying laborious produce wins? Not essentially. However you’ll be able to’t win should you don’t.

2. Nebraska will play Large Boy soccer.

Nebraska has taken its justifiable share of licks within the Large Ten over the previous 10+ years. It’s time they begin to take a lickin’ and carry on tickin’.

And cross out just a few licks of their very own.

It’s Large Boy…Ten…soccer time.

That’s what Rhule was introduced in to do. A former Large Ten walk-on linebacker at Penn State, Rhule is aware of one thing about bodily soccer. Look particularly for Nebraska’s line play to replicate a Large Ten fashion. It’ll take time. This 12 months could also be aspirational greater than precise: line play is the largest transformation this program wants. Rhule should recruit Large Ten our bodies upfront. He’ll get there. However lastly, Nebraska will focus on successful the trenches. You’ll see it in how the video games are known as on either side of the ball.

3. Nebraska shall be detail-oriented.

This was the bugaboo of the earlier regime. Rhule and his assistants appear obsessive about particulars. Merely, they appear like soccer junkies. And man alive, is that refreshing.

One of many issues Rhule has reiterated all through fall camp is “Do your job.” “Doing all your job” is what Nebraska soccer prided itself on for half a century. You may’t all the time out-recruit or out-scheme one other crew. But when each participant in this system is aware of their job and does it with excellence, followers shall be excited to observe–even should you don’t win each recreation.

Being detail-oriented, I feel, will assist Nebraska when the sport is on the road. I anticipate Rhule and his coordinators to make higher recreation administration choices due to their relentless preparation.

4. Nebraska shall be a combined bag of excellent and unhealthy.

This needs to be a no brainer. In case you anticipate flawless soccer in Recreation 1 or in Recreation 11, you’re loopy. Nebraska goes to battle. They need to. There are 40–FORTY!–new gamers on this roster. It might be a bumpy journey for half the 12 months. Or all of it.

However there may also be numerous good. The Huskers have a ton of nice athletes. And I anticipate these athletes to point out out typically. I anticipate gamers on either side of the ball to show heads and, barring damage, play within the NFL subsequent 12 months.

I additionally anticipate Nebraska’s coordinators to cook dinner up some recreation plans that give opposing groups suits. (This goes again to #3.)

5. Nebraska will get higher because the 12 months goes on.

I keep in mind once I was a child, my dad mentioned each single 12 months, “You be taught essentially the most a few crew after watching recreation 2, not recreation 1.” (Now you already know why I’m not making any predictions! Dad taught me effectively.)

An indication of a great crew (and a great coach) is studying from errors and enhancing the following week. Can Nebraska try this? Particularly from Minnesota to Colorado? I feel so.

Rhule’s observe document is sluggish enchancment. He was 0-6 to start out at Temple and Baylor. However this isn’t both a kind of conditions. Baylor had 45 scholarship gamers when Rhule arrived. Temple was, effectively, Temple. There’s no motive we shouldn’t anticipate Nebraska to compete and win video games, particularly within the second half of the season.

Benefit from the 2023 Nebraska Soccer Journey

It’s unimaginable to know tips on how to predict this season for Nebraska soccer. 7-5? 8-4? 3-9? 6-6? Your guess is pretty much as good as Kirk Herbstreit’s.

As a fan, maintain again your daring predictions. However by all means, you must have excessive expectations for a once-proud program that desperately must get again on observe. Outcomes do matter. It’s sports activities, in any case.

However this 12 months, above all years, embracing the method is important. Even (particularly?) for followers.

Let’s sit again and revel in this season. We’ll by no means get one other first 12 months for Nebraska soccer below Matt Rhule. It needs to be a heck of a journey.

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