Oklahoma-Nebraska game features multiple meetings


It won’t be one of the highlights of the college football season, as it has for many years in the past, but when the Oklahoma football team plays host to the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday, it will score more. as the renewal of one of the most historic rivalries in college gaming.

Most of the players who will appear on both sides in Saturday’s game between these two longtime conference rivals weren’t even out of elementary school the last time Oklahoma and Nebraska met on the field. of football. Obviously, neither of them were alive 50 years ago, when Nebraska’s No.1 and Oklahoma’s No.2 fought in what at the time was widely billed as the ” game of the century “.

The Oklahoma-Nebraska rivalry, which spans 109 years – including 71 consecutively from 1927 to 1997 – has been dormant for 11 years. Both teams played for the Big 12 Championship in 2010, and the following year Nebraska left the Big 12 to join the Big Ten.

What these two historic footballing powers have accomplished in the 90 seasons they have been members of the same conference is the absolute embodiment of the word ‘domination’.

Oklahoma’s 919 all-time wins rank sixth in FBS programs, and Nebraska is just behind with 907 all-time wins. Both schools also rank No. 1 and No. 2 nationally in conference championships: Oklahoma with 50 and Nebraska with 46. OR or Nebraska with won or shared 44 of 48 Big Eight football titles.

Oklahoma has a seven-game all-time series advantage (45-38-3), but since 1969, only two games have separated the two teams (20-18 in favor of the Sooners).

The 2021 version of Oklahoma vs. Nebraska won’t be near all of the hype and drama offered at “Game of the Century,” but the lore and memory of this epic grid battle will be carried throughout the Gaylord family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Saturday. OR Memorial Stadium was, of course, the site of the 1971 game, and some of the participants in that game will be present and honored in Saturday’s game.

And it won’t be the only players’ meeting taking place on Saturday. Oklahoma senior linebacker Caleb Kelly and Nebraska junior quarterback Adrian Martinez were teammates at West Clovis High School in Fresno, Calif.

Kelly also has another tie from Nebraska. His longtime girlfriend Adriana Maldonado is a junior on the Nebraska women’s soccer team.

The two high school teammates will be on the opposite side of the line of scrimmage on Saturday. Kelly, the last player of the Bob Stoops era, returned for his sixth season in Oklahoma after missing all but four games in the past two seasons with knee injuries. He and his Sooner defensive teammates will have their hands full with Martinez, who is a one-man demolition crew on offense for the Cornhuskers.

Martinez totaled 1,084 offensive yards (728 passing and 256 rushing) for Nebraska in the first three games. That’s almost 70 percent of the Huskers’ total offense so far this season. To illustrate how dangerous the double threat Martinez is, Mitch Sherman, editor for Athleticism, points out that Nebraska is one of three national programs this season with two runs of 70 yards or more and one of 11 schools with two passes of at least 60 yards. No other team, however, has done both.

Here’s the kicker: Martinez has been involved in each of those big four games for Nebraska.

Containing the highly mobile Martinez will be the No.1 job for Alex Grinch’s defense in Oklahoma on Saturday. Their success in this mission will not necessarily determine the outcome of the game, but will clearly have an impact on the margin of victory and the competitiveness of the 87th renewal of this rivalry.

Oklahoma and Nebraska will also meet again next season in Lincoln and in seasons 2029 and 30.

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