The Ohio State series stands out as an exciting pair of matchups that held national title significance early in the season, but the history of this rivalry, which dates back to 1919, holds much more significance in the history of college football.
The Oklahoma Sooners enter as huge favorites as the Cornhuskers haven’t really been the same program they were when they left the Big 12 for the Big 10. It’s a team that has struggled in the Big 10 and hasn’t been nationally relevant for some time now. Oklahoma continues to build one of the best programs in the country and finds itself with a chance to make a run at the national title if they can navigate a Big 12 schedule that will be full of potholes and potential missteps.
We’re excited for this game, and we know you are too. With that, let’s take a look at the Sooners Wire staff predictions for this week three matchup.
NEXT: Our staff provides their predictions for this week’s matchup.
Oklahoma 41, Nebraska 21
Nebraska has more talent than any team Oklahoma has faced in 2021. However, when you remember the Sooners’ non-conference schedule consisted of Tulane and an FCS program in Western Carolina University, that’s not necessarily saying much.
Cornhuskers quarterback Adrian Martinez will find a hole or two in an Oklahoma secondary without Woodi Washington and potentially a few other Sooners. But those opportunities will be few and far between. Martinez has been running for his life due to an offensive line that has struggled to protect him. His pressure rate of 45.7 makes him the most harassed quarterback in the entire Power Five.
Through three games, there is no reason to believe Nebraska has a better defense than Oklahoma. The Cornhuskers’ receiving corp is riddled with injuries to Oliver Martin and Omar Manning, and their best running back is their quarterback.
So, for the third consecutive week, talent alone gives OU the edge. I expect to see an army of crimson helmets chasing Martinez from sideline to sideline for most of the game.
Contact/Follow Jay Attal
Oklahoma 45, Nebraska 21
Rivalry games are rivalry games. It doesn’t matter where the two programs are right now, Nebraska and Oklahoma have a storied history.
OU is the better team in every facet of the game. While it may not seem like it, this is a perfect place for Nebraska to play out of their minds for a quarter or two and try and hang around.
The Cornhuskers may get a good grade for effort but OU wins by multiple scores. Oklahoma wraps up nonconference play with a complete performance in front of a rowdy early crowd in Norman and moves on to defend the Big 12 title next.
Contact/Follow Bryant Crews
Oklahoma 42, Nebraska 20
The Oklahoma Sooners are one of the best teams in the country for various reasons. They have an offense that can beat you in multiple ways with a variety of weapons and a defense that will attack you and make life incredibly difficult for opposing quarterbacks.
Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez is one of the most pressured quarterbacks in college football and the Sooners defensive front will have an opportunity to get in the face of the Cornhuskers’ passer. How well they maintain containment on Martinez, who leads all of college football in rushing yards by a non-quarterback because of his ability to scramble will be the biggest question to watch. If the Sooners defense struggles to contain Adrian Martinez and he’s effective in the passing game, it could be a long day for the Sooners.
Ultimately, though, Nebraska won’t be able to do enough to overcome the talent difference and the Oklahoma Sooners will win big on Saturday.
Contact/Follow John Williams