Before the game, Rhule gathered his team at midfield, and players were standing on the Colorado logo. Sanders did not receive that kindly and told reporters that he “went in there and disrupted it.”
“It was extremely personal. We go out there to warm up, you got the head coach from the other team trying to stand in the middle of the Buff. It’s OK if a couple players do it, but when you got the whole team trying to disrespect it, then I’m not going for that at all,” Sanders said. “I went in there and disrupted it. The Buffaloes mean a lot to me. That’s when I knew it was extreme disrespect.”
Rhule said Monday that he always brings his team together at midfield for a pregame prayer and there were no disrespectful intentions behind it.
“We do it at every stadium,” Rhule said. "I asked Shedeur if he wanted to pray with us. We just take a moment as a team. I want that field to be safe for everybody.”
Sanders also said Rhule “said a lot of things” about his father, Colorado head coach Deion Sanders.
Rhule, in his first year at Nebraska, just like Sanders is in his first year at Colorado, spoke on different ways to rebuild a program over the course of the offseason, including coaching players he inherited from the previous coaching staff. Sanders drew a ton of attention for his extreme roster turnover at Colorado, which included adding more than 80 new players to the program, many via the transfer portal. Rhule approached the task much differently.
“The coach said a lot of things about my pops, about the program. But now he wants to act nice,” Shedeur Sanders said. “I don’t respect that because you’re hating on another man. You shouldn’t do that. So all respect was gone for them and their program.”
During his Monday news conference, Rhule said he has “never disrespected an opponent.” Even as excited Colorado fans stormed the field as the final seconds came off the clock Saturday, Rhule said he made sure to shake hands with Deion Sanders.
“I’m coaching this team with class, and I’m not changing. And I went over there and shook that man’s hand. I’ve never disrespected an opponent a day in my life and never will,” Rhule said.
Colorado, now 2-0 and up to No. 18 in the AP Top 25, will host Colorado State on Saturday, while Nebraska is hoping to get its first win in the Rhule era in a home game versus Northern Illinois.