LINCOLN, Neb - Nebraska kicks off the Rhule era next Thursday against Minnesota on August 31 and Matt Rhule believes his team is ready for the challenge. 

On Friday, meeting with Reporters, Rhule listed a number of ways in which he feels confident in his group.

"I am confident we will be a physical team. I am confident that if things don't go well early, we won't panic. I'm confident that if things do go well early, we're not going to celebrate. I think the guys know it's a 60minute game and a 12 game season," Rhule said. "And I'm confident we're going to have a lot of fun."

The last four meetings between Nebraska and the Gophers, and five of the last six, have gone the way of Minnesota. Last years contest came down to the fourth quarter, but the Gophers got the last laugh pulling off the 20-13 win. Each of the last three meetings being decided by seven points or fewer. 

Rhule says the two things he's most proud of in camp is improved football IQ and situational awareness. To help that reflect on results, he's shown the team game film from a number of close fourth quarter contests, including Colorado in 2018.

"Just all these last minute game situations, I'll ask them what they hear, three guys will jump up and drop input," Rhule said. "I'd say our situational awareness has really jumped up, in a day and age when people don't watch football that much, they say they saw the highlights on YouTube or TikTok, but watching thsoe games together has really helped a lot."

It's been over eight months since Nebraska introduced Matt Rhule as the schools 31st head coach. Rhule says he's enjoyed his time in Nebraska thus far.

"I'm having the time of my life, I really am," Rhule said.  "This is the happiest I've been in a long time, my family is here now, they enjoy it, I really enjoy this team."

A few other notes provided by Rhule - Tight End Arik Gilbert's waiver process remains ongoing and wide receiver Alex Bullock, who's listed third on the first Huskers depth chart, has been put on scholarship.