By John Williams September 16, 2022 7:00 am
By John Williams |
The Oklahoma Sooners (2-0) look to remain undefeated as they take to the road for the first time in the Brent Venables era. Oklahoma and the Nebraska Cornhuskers come into this matchup in very different positions.
Since last season’s 23-16 Sooners’ win, both teams have made coaching changes, and both Oklahoma and Nebraska have new quarterbacks leading their offenses.
Nebraska is hoping to rebound from a disappointing home loss to Georgia Southern. It allowed 45 points to their Sun Belt foe. Oklahoma is trending in a different direction, hoping to build off a couple of 30-point wins to start the season.
Returning to Memorial Stadium for the first time since their 10-3 loss to the Cornhuskers in 2009, the Oklahoma Sooners will have to have a better offensive showing than they did a year ago.
With an offense that can put up points in a hurry, look for the Sooners to shake off their poor first-quarter start and be more consistent from the opening kick.
As the Sooners get set to take on the Cornhuskers, check out our Sooners Wire Staff predictions as well as predictions from several national analysts as well.
Sept. 10, 2022; Norman; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel (8) throws during the second half against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
In Oklahoma’s first road game of the season, the energy in the building should be palpable. A key to navigating a Nebraska team playing in a rivalry game with house money is to score early and settle nerves. Nebraska will come out flying, but, as the game goes along, the talent gap shows, especially in the second half when fatigue sits in from the tempo Oklahoma will run.
Oklahoma opens the playbook a little more, leading to Dillon Gabriel throwing three touchdowns while Eric Gray and Marcus Major each rush for another. The Sooners will do enough to bottle up a formidable running back Anthony Grant helping Oklahoma hold Nebraska to just 20 points.
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Sept. 10, 2022; Norman; Oklahoma Sooners linebacker Danny Stutsman (28) tackles Kent State Golden Flashes running back Bryan Bradford (31) during the second quarter at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
There’s simply no reason the Sooners shouldn’t run all over Nebraska on Saturday. The Huskers are an absolute dumpster fire and have an interim head coach who has never been a head coach at the Football Bowl Subdivision level.
The bugs in the offense will hopefully be resolved with more game experience and the return of Wanya Morris. If the O-line shows up on time, the Sooners will get on the board quickly.
As for the OU defense, Casey Thompson is the best QB they have faced to this point in the season, but the OU defense is much better than what Thompson has seen in past matchups with the Sooners.
Jeff Lebby’s offense will get on the board quickly, and the Sooners will cruise into Big 12 play 3-0.
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Sept. 3, 2022; Norman; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel (8) throws during the first half against the UTEP Miners at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Nebraska looks to slow the game to keep Oklahoma’s fast-paced offense off the field and protect a porous defense. It will not matter, though, because the Sooners can score in a hurry. Throwing time of possession out the window, the Sooners will strike hard, strike fast and show no mercy on their former Big 8 and Big 12 rival.
Casey Thompson, Anthony Grant and the Nebraska offense have done some good things this season. They’ve been more productive per game than the Sooners through three games. Though that’s been against Northwestern, North Dakota and Georgia Southern, the Cornhuskers have been able to put up some points. Nebraska hasn’t seen a defense as good as Oklahoma’s. In turn, Oklahoma hasn’t seen an offense as good as the Cornhuskers in 2022.
The Sooners’ offense is a mismatch for Nebraska’s defense, which struggles to stop both the run and the pass. The biggest question heading into this game is how well Oklahoma’s defense will be able to stop a Cornhuskers offense that’s averaging 39 points and 492 yards per game this season.
Danny Stutsman, Reggie Grimes and Billy Bowman continue their hot start to the 2022 season and contain Casey Thompson and Anthony Grant, limiting the Huskers ability to move the ball consistently. After a tight first quarter, Oklahoma begins to pull away in the second to run away with a convincing road win.
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Scroll below for predictions from national analysts on this game.
Sept. 10, 2022; Lincoln; Nebraska Cornhuskers wide receiver Trey Palmer (3) catches a pass against the Georgia Southern Eagles during the fourth quarter at Memorial Stadium. Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports
Nebraska’s offense will be able to move the ball on the Sooners, but can it finish drives? That’s been a problem this year. Defensively the inability to tackle in the open field has been an issue and could be a significant problem on Saturday. Special teams has also been a letdown in 2022. The lone bright spot has been Brian Buschini, who averages 46 yards a punt and could help flip position. I think Nebraska will come out and play hard for interim coach Mickey Joseph in his first game. But that can only take you so far, and it’s not enough to allow you to overcome the litany of issues the Huskers have shown this season. Oklahoma pulls away in the second half. — Evan Bredeson, Cornhuskers Wire
Oklahoma’s Eric Gray (0) rushes as Kent State’s Nico Bolden (24) and JoJo Evans (23) chase him in the third quarter during the college football game between the University of Oklahoma and the Kent State Golden Flashes at the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept., 10, 2022. Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
But the Sooner skill players should have the final say. Gabriel has proven touch on deep throws and on the move, has the targets to work the perimeter, and a support system on the ground led by Eric Gray that is over 5 yards per carry. — James Parks, College Football HQ on SI
Sept. 10, 2022; Norman; Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Marvin Mims (17) reacts after scoring a touchdown during the second half against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Oklahoma is going to put a hurtin’ on this terrible defense. It will not quite match the 56-14 drubbing the Huskers took at home from Ohio State and Iowa in 2017, but it will not be a nail-biter, either. – Kerry Miller, Bleacher Report
Sept. 10, 2022; Norman; Oklahoma Sooners head coach Brent Venables walks before the game against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Lassan, Mark Ross and Ben Weinrib of Athlon Sports each have the Sooners getting the win on the road in their Week 3 predictions.
Oklahoma’s Danny Stutsman (28) celebrates a sack on Kent State’s Collin Schlee (19) in the third quarter during the college football game between the University of Oklahoma and the Kent State Golden Flashes at the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept., 10, 2022. Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Analysts from College Football News and the College Wires unanimously pick Oklahoma to beat Nebraska. Nineteen of the 24 respondents pick the Sooners to cover the spread.
Sept. 10, 2022; Norman; Oklahoma Sooners head coach Brent Venables reacts during the first quarter against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
The Sooners offense started out with four straight punts in a 33-3 win against Kent State last week but snapped out of it and scored on their next five possessions. The Golden Flashes may also be better defensively than Nebraska, which surrendered 642 yards to Georgia Southern last week in (Scott) Frost’s final game. Oklahoma isn’t great yet in Year 1 under coach Brent Venables, but the Sooners are good enough to lay a whooping on the Cornhuskers’ beleaguered defense. — David Cobb, CBS Sports
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2022 Oklahoma Sooners Football, Brent Venables, Dillon Gabriel, Eric Gray, Marvin Mims, Mickey Joseph, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Predictions, Timely, Football
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