No. 6 Sooners are Joseph’s 1st foe as Huskers’ interim coach
No. 6 Oklahoma (2-0) at Nebraska (1-2), Saturday, noon ET (Fox)
Line: Oklahoma by 10 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Oklahoma leads 46-38-3.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
The magnitude of Oklahoma-Nebraska is a fading memory for younger fans and players, but the two-game series set up for 2021 and ’22 give old-timers a chance to reminisce about the days when these teams ruled the old Big Eight. For the Sooners, this is a sharpener for their Big 12 opener against Kansas State. They need to get out to a faster start than they did last week against Kent State, when they punted on their first four possessions. The Huskers are sure to be playing on emotion following the firing of Scott Frost. Interim coach Mickey Joseph is in charge.
Oklahoma’s run defense vs. RB Anthony Grant. The Sooners are allowing 2.3 yards per carry and have given up only three runs longer than 12 yards. Grant is the most consistent threat in Nebraska’s offense. He’s third nationally at just under 143 yards per game. If Grant is stymied, the Sooners can unleash a pass rush that has nine sacks in two games.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Oklahoma: QB Dillon Gabriel plays his first road game for the Sooners. The Central Florida transfer’s passer rating is in the top-10 nationally, and if a Nebraska pass rush that has just two sacks in three games doesn’t find a way to apply pressure, Gabriel could put up huge numbers.
Nebraska: QB Casey Thompson had a career day against the Sooners when he was with Texas last year, completing 20 of 34 passes for 388 yards and five touchdowns in a wild 55-48 loss. Confidence won’t be an issue for him.
FACTS & FIGURES
Oklahoma beat Nebraska 23-16 in Norman last year and is 6-1 in the past seven meetings. ... When Joseph played at Nebraska from 1988-91, mostly as a backup quarterback, the Huskers won three of four meetings with OU. ... This is the first meeting in Lincoln since 2009. ... OU has won 28 of its last 32 true road games. ... Sooners’ 23 tackles for loss are most among Power Five teams. ... Nebraska has lost 18 straight against ranked opponents since 2016. ... Including this year, 63 of the 73 Oklahoma-Nebraska games since 1936 have featured at least one team in the Top 25.
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