July 16, 2024

Nebraska receives boost for 2024 with two key starters returning

The Nebraska Cornhuskers football program is eying a big 2024 season, and on Monday, a pair of key starters for the program announced their returns for the 2024 season.

Safety Isaac Gifford and offensive tackle Bryce Benhart announced via X on Monday that they are returning to Nebraska with a short video.

Do you believe in magic? pic.twitter.com/YCBFvT8plo

— Isaac Gifford (@IsaacGifford2) December 12, 2023

Gifford, a senior defensive back out of Lincoln, started all 12 games for the Huskers at safety in 2023, recording 86 tackles, a team-high and a career-high. He became the first Husker since Nathan Gerry in 2014 to record 80 or more tackles and earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten in the process from both the coaches and media.

Benhart, the rising sixth-year senior out of Minnesota, has made 41 starts at right tackle for the Huskers over his career, tying the school record for career starts at the position. Before the season, Benhart was a Senior Bowl watch list member before starting all 12 games and earning honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors from both the coaches and media.

Nebraska in 2024 will look to improve in the second year of the Matt Rhule era after going 5-7 in 2023. In each of Rhule’s prior head coaching stops at the college level, his programs have seen significant jumps in their second year. At Temple, the Owls were 2-10 under Rhule in year one before going 6-6 in 2014, eventually improving to 10-4 and 10-3 in 2015 and 2016, respectively. At Baylor, Rule and the Bears were 1-11 in 2017 before improving to 7-6 in 2018 and eventually 11-3 in 2019

For a Nebraska team that lost four games by a field goal, it may not take too much to get the Huskers over the hump and into the territory of pushing for eight or nine wins. The Huskers will open their 2024 season on August 31 as they host the UTEP Miners at Memorial Stadium.

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