Colorado’s 36-14 win over Nebraska last Saturday was quite eventful. During the game, the Buffs took care of business and sent their biggest rival home with a 23 point loss. However, Nebraska and head coach Matt Rhule’s pregame antics have garnered a lot of negative attention.
Around two hours before kickoff, Rhule brought the entire Nebraska team onto the Colorado Buffalo logo on Folsom Field’s fifty yard line for some sort of meeting. Buffs quarterback Shedeur Sanders didn’t take kindly to Rhule’s team standing over CU’s logo and went into the Nebraska huddle to break it up.
“We go out there and warm up, you have the head coach from the other team trying to stand in the middle of the Buff,” said Sanders in his post game press conference. “It’s okay if a couple of players do it, it’s fine, you know, just enjoy the scenery … but when you have the whole team trying to disrespect it, I’m not going for that at all. I went in there and disrupted it.”
Shedeur didn’t just break up the Nebraska huddle, but he did it in style. He went into the huddle and flexed his expensive watch to one specific Husker who refused to get off the logo. Shedeur showed off his loyalty to CU by shutting down Nebraska’s alleged attempt to disrespect the Buffs, which is something that is extremely appreciated by many fans including myself.
Since Shedeur called out Rhule on a national stage, the Nebraska head coach has gone into full damage control mode. Rhule said in his press conference on Monday that he wasn’t standing on CU’s logo to be disrespectful, but was instead having a teamwide prayer before warmups.
“We do it at every stadium. We go over there and pray for blessings, I asked Shedeur if he wanted to pray with us.” said Rhule on Monday. “I know exactly who I am, exactly who I am, and I’m coaching this team with class, and I’m not changing, and I went over there and shook [Coach Prime’s] hand and whispered in his ear, and I’ve never disrespected an opponent a day in my life and I never will.”
I was there in person and saw the whole thing go down. I don’t think Rhule is being truthful about the incident. Before I get into the details, I want to clarify that I don’t know everything about the situation because I wasn’t able to actually hear what words were exchanged between the two sides. I don’t have all the answers, but here is a breakdown of what I saw at midfield before the game.
Rhule brought every single Husker on top of the CU logo for around two or three minutes before Shedeur shut it down. During that time, he gave some sort of speech to all his players.
Every Nebraska player was standing on their feet for the entire duration of Rhule’s speech. Typically during a team prayer, at least a couple players will kneel down, close their eyes, or gesture to the sky after the prayer is finished. None of these things happened during Rhule’s speech, which seems a bit odd for an alleged team prayer. Rhule’s speech looked more like some sort of pump up speech than a team prayer.
If it was a team prayer, Rhule could have had it literally anywhere else on the field. He could have just as easily held the meeting in an endzone and this whole controversy would never exist. It seems more likely that Rhule deliberately held the meeting on top of Colorado’s logo.
As for Rhule saying he’d never disrespect an opponent a day in his life, that’s also a lie. I don’t need my pregame observations to prove this one though, because I can dig up some old receipts from before the season started. Rhule took some less than subtle jabs at Coach Prime and his recruiting tactics through the transfer portal, which he seems to have conveniently forgotten about.
“I hear other school’s say I can’t wait for [the day the transfer portal opens]. I can’t wait to coach my guys, let me tell you that,” said Rhule in April. “I’m not thinking about anybody else but this team out here.”
What I’ve taken away from this whole situation is that Matt Rhule doesn’t have the backbone to admit that he messed up and got called out by Shedeur. Rhule now wants to pretend to be an innocent nice guy who did nothing wrong. Shedeur isn’t buying it either, and called out Rhule during his media availability postgame.
“[Rhule] said a lot of things about my pops and about the program, but now that he wants to act nice and I don’t respect that because you’re hating on another man - you shouldn’t do that” told the Colorado quarterback postgame.
It’s all said and done now. Rhule is 0-2 in his first two games at Nebraska, while the Buffs are sitting pretty with Coach Prime at helm.