By: Hunter Cornejo
In the 88th edition of the Battle of the Big Reds, Oklahoma got the win 49-14 over Nebraska. Nebraska came out swinging, going up early 7-0 on Casey Thompson’s 32 yard touchdown pass to Trey Palmer. Oklahoma then went on to score 49 unanswered points starting with Dillion Gabriel’s 61 yard touchdown run. The Sooners’ defensive end Jonah Laulu sacked Casey Thompson on 3 & 12 to get the ball back into Dillion Gabriel’s hands. Dillion Gabriel went on to find Jalil Farooq for 6, making the score 14-7 Oklahoma. On the next drive for Nebraska, Oklahoma defensive lineman Jalen Redmond got a sack leading to another Nebraska punt. Marvin Mims had a big punt return for the Sooners, to give the Oklahoma offense starting field position inside the Nebraska 25 yard line. Marcus Major added to the damage with a 1 yard touchdown run. Oklahoma tight end Brayden Willis showed off his passing abilities with a 24 yard touchdown pass to Marcus Major. Oklahoma running back Eric Gray had a pair of rushing touchdowns today, the first time in his Sooner career to have a multi-touchdown day. Theo Wease picked up his first of many touchdowns this season to make the score 49-7. Nebraska backup quarterback Chubba Purdy finally put the Cornhuskers on the board again in the 4th quarter on a 8 yard touchdown run.
Oklahoma being able to pick up a dominant road win in a renewed rivalry game in Brent Venables’ first road as a head coach is extremely impressive. The Sooners played extremely balanced both offensively and defensively once again. The only concern for the Sooners going forward is the consecutive slow offensive starts. Sooners’ freshman linebacker Jaren Kanak was extremely impressive in his first game getting consistent first team reps, filling in for DaShaun White who was ejected for targeting in the second quarter. Kanak finished with a team leading 10 total tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. The Oklahoma defense continued their defensive success on tackles for loss, racking up 9 TFLs for a loss of 56 yards. Sophomore edge rusher Ethan Downs led the team with 2 TFLs for 16 yards, including a sack for a 10 yard loss. The last time Oklahoma started off the season 3-0 with 3 30+ point wins was in 2007, with Brent Venables as the defensive coordinator.
Hopefully for Nebraska going forward Athletic Director Trev Alberts can make a home run hire for the Cornhuskers. To see Nebraska have 5 consecutive losing seasons is just bad for College Football. We need to see Nebraska back on top competing for National Championships year in and year out. Nebraska’s search for their next head coach will be interesting. In my opinion, Gary Patterson is the guy for Nebraska. Nebraska fans deserve a passionate coach and that is exactly what Patterson is. Patterson went 181-79 at TCU from 2000-2021. Patterson led many talented TCU teams during his time as the winningest coach in program history. I think if Patterson was given the opportunity to lead a program as historic as Nebraska, he would have great success and could put Nebraska back to their historic standards.
Oklahoma will face Kansas State on Saturday, September 24th at 7:00 PM CT on Fox.