Matt Rhule knows Heinrich Haarberg needs to play better moving forward. However, the head coach also understands there is a lot of pressure currently riding on the shoulders of his quarterback.

In the loss to Michigan State, Haarberg threw 2 interceptions and was credited with a third turnover via a lost fumble. He’s now completing just 50% of his passes on the season and has 7 touchdowns to go with 6 interceptions.

Asked about Haarberg at his Monday press conference, Rhule said it takes a certain desire to want to play QB for this team in this situation. He admitted a lot of pressure riding on Haarberg’s shoulders to play well every snap with the current makeup of the team.

“Here’s what I love about Heinrich: Not everyone would want to be the QB in this situation. There’s a lot of pressure. There’s a lot riding on your shoulders,” said Rhule. “If you don’t play well, if you don’t execute the option well, if you don’t execute the zone-reads well, if you don’t execute the zone sweeps well, if you don’t throw the ball well. There’s not a lot of margin for error on offense right now if you don’t play well. Every play is kind of squarely on his shoulders.”

Overall, Rhule praised Haarberg for wanting to be in this situation and keep going out with the offense:

“As we continue to grow, you’re hoping to just hand the ball off every once in a while and we’re just playing at a level where it’s not squarely on his shoulders. But to go out and be a QB on a team that’s battling every week in a close game, you have to want to do that. Everyone says they want to do that, you have to want to do that, and that’s what I respect so much about Heinrich,” Rhule explained. “He wants to do it, he wants to be out there.”

Considering Rhule’s comments, it does not sound like any change at QB or a switch back to Jeff Sims is in the works. We’ll see if that’s indeed the case this weekend.

Nebraska will regroup and prepare to face Maryland in Week 11.