The Norman Transcript


November 2, 2008

Big Red blast

In 1996, the first year of the Big 12 Conference, Nebraska came to Owen Field and crushed Oklahoma by 52 points. At the time, it seemed like the programs couldn’t be further apart. The Huskers were coming off back-to-back national championships and would add another the following year. The Sooners were in the infancy of John Blake’s three-year tenure and sinking like a bowling ball tied to an anchor.

Saturday night, the gap between the two perennial powers seemed just as wide, but it was the Sooners who were on the pedestal looking down at the their longtime nemesis.

No. 4 OU blasted Nebraska 62-28 behind a first-quarter blitzkrieg never before seen in the historic rivalry.

A little more than 5 minutes into the game, the Sooners led 28-0. Nebraska had run five plays, turning the ball over three times, including Dominique Franks’ 18-yard interception return for a touchdown.

The Sooners had run 11, scoring touchdowns on three.

There was a reason the host team was a three-touchdown favorite, but no one could have foreseen something like that.

“Not in an OU-Nebraska game,” OU defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said of the opening sequence. “We just came out and set the tone.”

The Sooners (8-1, 4-1 Big 12) have been incredibly adept at starting hot. They put up 55 points in the first half of last week’s 58-35 victory over Kansas State and were up big double digits by the end of the first quarter in six of their previous seven wins.

That was against Tennessee-Chattanooga, Cincinnati, Washington, TCU, Baylor and Kansas State, though. It wasn’t against the Big Red of the North, the team with the big red “N” on its helmet that has struck fear and garnered respect from every program its faced since helmets were made of leather.

“I looked at the clock and I couldn’t believe that was all the time that was gone,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “You get short fields, you’re coming up with turnovers and you’re making plays, it’s going to happen.”

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