The Battle of The Big Reds is finally here as Oklahoma meets Nebraska for the first time ever in league history. At 2-3 the Sooners are a long shot to make the playoffs as they might have the toughest remaining schedule in the league, but a win this week would be a huge step in the right direction (remaining schedule: Nebraska, Texas, and Oklahoma State). After a two game skid and losing by a combined four points, Oklahoma found success on the ground as the Croft/Welch 1-2 punch went off for 211 rush yards and a win over LSU. This week brings a new challenge, facing one of the most tenacious defenses in the league (fourth in total yardage, sixth in rush yards, third in takeaways). To be successful, Oklahoma needs to either flip the script and go pass heavy to wide receiver Falquin Byrd, or find a way to continue pounding the rock.
Nebraska is the fourth lowest scoring offense of all Power Three teams and they are the lowest scoring of all Big 12 teams, yet here they are sitting in the middle of the standings. A former Texas coach said “defense wins championships,” and while that sentiment might be slowly fading with the number of high powered offenses in the league currently, Nebraska is ride or die on it. The offense does enough to give them a lead and milk it with ball control, and the defense forces punts; that’s good and efficient football. The Cornhuskers will make a playoff push in these last three weeks and will need quarterback Courtney Harris to make plays consistently with his feet without turning the ball over on the turf.
Nebraska has the defense that most teams wish they had, but perhaps lack the offensive firepower to keep up with an offense that once dropped 91 points in a game. Oklahoma has an offense that can really hurt you where it counts, but are among some of the highest scoring allowed defenses in the league and don’t force many turnovers. Nebraska will have the edge in this one due to their ability to get takeaways on defense and run the clock out offensively.
Houston Freeman: Oklahoma 28, Nebraska 34
Squidy: Oklahoma 34, Nebraska 28
David Ware: Oklahoma 21, Nebraska 24