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No. 6 Oklahoma handed Nebraska one of the worst losses in its program history on Saturday with a 49-14 decision at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska. The 49 points mark the most scored by the Sooners against the Cornhuskers in the 88 meetings between these two programs.
Nebraska got on the board early with an impressive scripted drive, but the effort devolved into an embarrassment from there. The Sooners nabbed a 49-7 lead with nine minutes remaining in the third quarter and cruised to victory, while the Cornhuskers did not score a single point until three minutes remaining in garbage time.
Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel played well in his first start against a Power Five opponent in 2022. Gabriel scampered for a career-long 61-yard touchdown to get the offense going and added 230 yards through the air and two touchdowns. However, the rushing game took over with more than 300 yards 113 of which came from running back Eric Gray, who had two scores on just 11 carries.
Nebraska quarterback Casey Thompson threw for 129 yards and a touchdown, while Trey Palmer added 10 catches for 92 yards and a score. However, a porous offensive line allowed the Sooners to get four sacks off Thompson and produced just 2.8 yards per carry for starting running back Anthony Grant.
Oklahoma played well in its first two games against UTEP and Kent State, but the first half against Nebraska was perfect football. The Sooners posted 355 yards on 8.1 yards per play and held the Cornhuskers to 3.4 yards per play. The defensive line held Nebraska underwater and made Thompson’s life a living hell.
There was hope when Venables took over the program that the Sooners could recapture some of the physicality that characterized its older teams. This win over Nebraska might not be as meaningful as it would normally, but the level of dominance and execution was a clear shift from the 23-16 matchup between these teams last season.
In a season where many of the top national contenders have looked flawed, Oklahoma has itself an opening statement. The Sooners should move right into the national conversation after eviscerating a Big Ten opponent on the road.
Any hope that the end of the Scott Frost era would quickly lead to a jump in competence was quickly vanquished against a bitter rival. The opening scripted drive spread the ball around, but after a few quarterback hits, the body language quickly fell.
Nebraska’s defense looked shaken after allowing the long touchdown to Gabriel early in the game and struggled to regain any mojo. The receivers played with little trust in their quarterback play. After taking a punch, Nebraska wobbled.
Oklahoma had never scored more than 48 points against the Cornhuskers, but the Sooners reached that mark early in the third quarter. The 35-point margin of victory is the widest since 1990, a streak of 16 games. It was tragic in Lincoln on every level.
In the second quarter, leading Oklahoma tackler DaShaun White was ejected following a targeting penalty. Venables inserted freshman Jaren Kanak, the lone recruit to follow him from Clemson to Norman. Expectations were high for the former four-star, but his performance down the stretch was off the charts.
Kanak led the Sooners with 10 tackles in less than half a game, and he caused major issues for Nebraska’s protections. He was only credited with one quarterback hurry, but Kanak was around the ball on several occasions.
Oklahoma had been looking for a star to fill in its “Cheetah” position at linebacker. White is a serious player, but Kanak is the future at the position.
Postgame from Lincoln. https://t.co/xab0RbLWh3
First road dub ✅@wanyamorris64 @1ericgray#OUDNA pic.twitter.com/JG01pzQqdD
Purdy finds the end zone 👏@HuskerFBNation takes one back pic.twitter.com/sHkjAndBJi
TD @chubbapurdy. pic.twitter.com/3drwjfPerN
INT 𝘒𝘌𝘠 😤@KeShawn2x | #OUDNA pic.twitter.com/9u97qIFJqt
50 years ago “The Jet” brought home the Heisman Trophy to Lincoln. https://t.co/A24PUfwsHx pic.twitter.com/7KqAJfsTX2
4th down 𝗦𝗧𝗢𝗣 ❌@showw_3 | #OUDNA pic.twitter.com/Iy3Vag3QFO
End of Q3.
📺 @CFBONFOX | #OUDNApic.twitter.com/AKPluJ1G0m
Another first TD of the season 💪@_TheoWeaseJr | #OUDNA pic.twitter.com/A4fReKiqyN
Go up and get it, @_TheoWeaseJr 😤#OUDNA pic.twitter.com/50GLN8123a
EG takin’ more ankles 🤧
📺 @CFBONFOX | @1ericgray pic.twitter.com/cexgd9KTHj
Nebraska got off to the worst start possible to the second half. The Cornhuskers fumbled on their first play of the second half, and Oklahoma took it for a touchdown seven plays later — including a third-and-6 conversion from Dillon Gabriel to Jalil Farooq. Everything has gone wrong for Nebraska.
First multi-TD game as a Sooner for @1ericgray #OUDNA pic.twitter.com/cIAllgSGrr
Right back in the end zone 🙌 @1ericgray | #OUDNA pic.twitter.com/tgOUn8fWgx
• 1994 Outland Trophy Winner
• Consensus All-American
• Retired No.72 jersey
• 12-year NFL career
• 2022 College Football Hall of Fame Class
Zach Wiegert. Husker legend. pic.twitter.com/WyJum38fwQ
𝙊𝙪𝙧 𝙗𝙖𝙡𝙡 🗣️@KanakJaren | #OUDNA pic.twitter.com/k3YfY8nw2Z
EG put ‘em on skates 🌀@1ericgray
📺 @CFBONFOX | #OUDNApic.twitter.com/kmq5lGqZxJ
First TD of the season ➡️ @1ericgray #OUDNA pic.twitter.com/DNZDlXrzOQ
𝙀𝙂. juke. TD. 🤧@1ericgray | #OUDNA pic.twitter.com/tIOiZHbXDo
Linebacker DaShaun White, one of the best defenders for Oklahoma, has been ejected from the game for targeting. White led the Sooners with six tackles, a sack and a pass breakup early in the game, but speared Casey Thompson with the crown of his helmet. To make matters worse, Oklahoma’s defense was about to get off the field on third-and-15, but Nebraska now gets new life with 4:12 left in the second quarter.
Nebraska finally got its first stop in four drives after Oklahoma kicker Zach Schmit whiffed on a 39-yard field goal. The defense stiffened on the edge of the Nebraska red zone as Ty Robinson stopped Dillon Gabriel at the line to forced fourth-and-10. Now, Nebraska desperately need to respond before halftime and get back into the game.
BIG time stop on 4th down 🚫
📺 @CFBONFOX | #OUDNApic.twitter.com/1Gp9DgGswR
Oklahoma offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby is emptying the clip on his former rival. The Sooners just ran a pass-back to tight end Brayden Willis, who threw it to a wide open Marcus Major for a 24-yard touchdown. Now, the tight end Willis has more passing yards than Nebraska has rushing yards. This one might be over.
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