The Norman Transcript

Sports

October 26, 2005

Historic rivalry

But, this year, is it a big game?

Oklahoma defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek still remembers his last trip to Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.

It was Oct. 27, 2001, and it was a game for the ages. The second-ranked Sooners were trying to win their 20th straight game only to be thwarted by the third-ranked Huskers in 20-10.

The game will forever be remembered for two wide receiver passes to the quarterbacks. Nebraska’s worked, Oklahoma’s didn’t.

But that isn’t all Dvoracek, OU’s only starter to play in the 2001 meeting, remembers.

“I remember it was cold. I remember it was awesome, an awesome stadium,” he said. “There was a lot on the line and it was a great game. It was a battle the whole game. They got that throwback pass at the end and ours didn’t work because we fell.

“It hurt to lose.”

That’s what happens in games with national championship implications. Big stakes make big games. In that regard, OU and Nebraska have had plenty.

“A lot of people say this (OU vs. Nebraska) is a bigger game than the OU-Texas game, historically,” Dvoracek said. “It’s an awesome game with two of the greatest programs ever.”

There was the “Game of the Century” in 1971 and the “Game of the New Century” in 2000. For the latter half of the 20th Century, the two teams dominated the Big Eight Conference and that trend continued when the Big 12 began in 1996

Dating back to the epic 1971 meeting, 17 of the last 31 meetings occurred with both teams ranked in the top 10.

It’s a history OU coach Bob Stoops has embraced and one he’s one in which he’s sought to make his players aware.

“To me, it’s important that they understand the traditions and histories here, the great players before them, the games, who’s made plays in these games,” he said. “I don’t like it when someone asks them a question and they don’t have any idea. To me, I’m not doing a good job (if they don’t) know this is what we’re about and here are the guys that have been before you.”

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