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Nebraska loses to Oklahoma by a touchdown as the old rivals meet for the 50th anniversary of the Game of the Century

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 10:57 PM CDT
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NORMAN, Okla. (WOWT) -- Nebraska lost Oklahoma on Saturday by a final of 23-16. It was the first matchup between the two rivals since the Big 12 championship game in 2010.

This game marks the anniversary of the 1971 “Game of the Century” between the two teams when they were ranked first and second in the nation. Nebraska won that game 35-31.

Today, the Huskers came in knowing they would have to limit big plays by OU and limit their own mistakes.

The mistakes were still there in the first half, but the Husker Blackshirts did not look outmatched by any means. They held the Sooners to just 7 points at halftime.

The problem was on offense, where the Huskers started the game with two straight false starts before even playing a down. They were able to overcome it on that first drive to an extent.

The drive ended with a Connor Culp 51 yard field goal, which was a new long for the Huskers kicker.

For most of the first half, the offense got into too many 3rd & long situations they couldn’t convert.

It was a 7-3 ballgame at the break with the Sooners leading.

The Big Red got the ball to start the third quarter. They had a great drive with a handful of first downs, but it stalled at the 18. Connor Culp then missed a 35 yard field goal attempt.

Oklahoma got the ball back and drove right down the field. It culminated with a Spencer Rattler to Jeremiah touchdown pass on play action to make it 14-3 Sooners.

On Nebraska’s second drive of the half, they moved back down the field again. Adrian Martinez hit Travis Vokolek on a huge 39-yard play.

The drive culminated with an Adrian Martinez touchdown run, but another special teams mistake hurt NU. Kellen Meyer came in to kick the extra point, rather than Culp.

The attempt was blocked and returned for a score by the Sooners. By rule, it was only worth two points because it was on an extra point. The return gave Oklahoma a 16-9 lead.

Oklahoma got the ball and scored again. A Kennedy Brooks touchdown run in the fourth quarter made it 23-9.

Nebraska got down into the redzone on a huge 55 yard pass, plus 15 yards tacked on for sideline interference by Oklahoma. Big Red wouldn’t do anything with it, and on 4th and 18, D.J. Graham picked off an Adrian Martinez pass in spectacular, one-handed fashion.

The Huskers kept fighting. The interception put the Sooners down at their own 3-yard line. Nebraska forced a punt and got the ball back. Then, Adrian Martinez hit Omar Manning for his first NU touchdown to get within a touchdown at 23-16 with 5:38 to go in the fourth.

The Huskers would get the ball back with one more chance with 57 seconds left, but were unable to tie the game.

Gabe Ervin Jr went down in the 3rd quarter with a non-contact injury. Ervin Jr went down immediately and grabbed at his right leg.

Cam Taylor-Britt also went down with an injury. His status is not clear.

Nebraska plays at Michigan State next Saturday at 6 p.m. CST.

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