Happy Saturday, Sooner Nation! We are 21 days (exactly three weeks!) from kicking off the 2017 OU football season. In today’s edition of our countdown, we are taking a look back on OU’s 4th Big XII Championship, a 21-7 victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
In the 83rd meeting of one of college football’s most iconic rivalries, a 10-2 Oklahoma lined up against the 9-3 Nebraska Cornhuskers in a frigid Kansas City. The winner would earn an automatic berth to the Fiesta Bowl, and the loser would have to cope with losing to its storied rival.
There were fireworks early as the Oklahoma Sooners forced a turnover on Nebraska’s opening play of the game. The very next play resulted in running back Allen Patrick rushing his way into the end zone, putting the Sooners up 7-0 right out of the gate.
Later in the first quarter, OU quarterback Paul Thompson connected with wide receiver Malcolm Kelly for a 66-yard touchdown, extending the lead over the Huskers to two scores.
Most of the game was a defensive slugfest, with a combined total of 16 punts and 6 turnovers, 5 of which were committed by Nebraska.
In what would go down as one of the greatest drives in Oklahoma history, as well as the longest drive in Big XII Championship history, the Sooners found themselves on their own 1-yard line late in the third quarter. Nebraska had since cut into their deficit, now only down 14-7, and were looking to even up the game with the excellent field position they were hoping to attain.
First play, pass incomplete. Second play, running back Chris Brown rushed for no gain. On 3rd and 10, still backed up in their own end zone, the Sooners looked to be in trouble. Then, in true Sooner Magic fashion, Paul Thompson found tight end Jermaine Gresham for a 35-yard gain. The third-down conversion swung momentum right back to the Sooners, as OU methodically marched right down the field and scored on Malcolm Kelly’s second receiving touchdown of the night.
OU was able to keep the Nebraska offense in check the rest of the way, prevailing by a score of 21-7. Kelly was elated about the victory and decided to give the world the greatest freestyle any of us have ever heard.
The rivalry between the schools is one full of passion, championships, and respect. OU leads the all-time series against Nebraska 45-38-3, and the two giants are scheduled to renew their rivalry with a home-and-home in 2021 and 2022.
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