The University of Nebraska is a school located in Lincoln, NE. It is a member of the Big Ten Conference

Nebraska opens season with early season conference test at Minnesota


The latest attempt to reboot Nebraska’s football program will commence on Thursday night as the Cornhuskers travel to Minnesota for their 2023 season opener, a Big Ten Conference game in Minneapolis.

Matt Rhule, the program’s fourth full-time head coach in the last ten years, takes the reins from Scott Frost, who was dismissed midway through the 2022 season after a 16-31 record over four-plus seasons. Rhule, who returned to college coaching after spending two-plus years with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, brings a track record of successful program turnarounds at Temple and Baylor.



Nebraska is coming off a 4-8 season in 2022, marked by losing five games by a single score.

“We won’t truly know who we are until we play a game, maybe a couple of games,” Rhule stated. He acknowledged the challenge of navigating the initial phase of a new coach and season, likening it to a “messy front end.”

Minnesota, on the other hand, had a 9-4 record last year, winning five of their final six games, including the Pinstripe Bowl against Syracuse. The Golden Gophers, led by P.J. Fleck, have reached bowl games in four out of six seasons under his guidance. Fleck’s three nine-win seasons are tied for the second-most in school history.

Nebraska’s roster is packed with newcomers, boasting 63 players who were not part of the team in the previous year. Quarterback Jeff Sims, a transfer from Georgia Tech, is anticipated to start. Virginia transfer Billy Kemp IV, with 192 career receptions ranking sixth among active FBS receivers, adds further depth.

Minnesota’s changes are more subtle, particularly internal shifts. Greg Harbaugh Jr., previously the tight ends coach, will now coach quarterbacks and serve as co-offensive coordinator. Redshirt sophomore Athan Kaliakmanis, who took over from Tanner Morgan, will step up as the primary quarterback. Kaliakmanis appeared in 11 games with five starts last year. Additionally, Western Michigan transfer Sean Tyler will assume the main running back role after the graduation of school career rushing leader Mohamed Ibrahim.