The Norman Transcript


November 8, 2009

Half right, but all wrong

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Everything was half right for Oklahoma.

Like this blown up and framed poster of an old Sports Illustrated cover inside Memorial Stadium's press box. Commemorating the Game of the Century, a Husker and Sooner on the cover, here was the headline: "Irresistible Oklahoma meets immovable Nebraska."

As a present-day barometer, it was half right. When it really mattered, the Huskers were immovable. The Sooners were hardly irresistible.

Or this comment Bo Pelini made after the game, the Nebraska coach exulting in victory but trying to be gracious, too.

"I've had some great (wins), but this one ranks right up there," he said. "Oklahoma's a good football team."

Half right.

The Sooners were a good team against Tulsa, most of the way against Texas, the second half at Kansas and at the beginning and end against Kansas State. But they weren't much good at all Saturday night in Lincoln, coughing up the latest in a line of avoidable defeats.

Unless that's not fair. Perhaps they're not avoidable. Maybe this wasn't a good team playing poorly, but a mediocre team playing like one. Whatever, the rest of the season will determine.

Once again OU's defense did about all it could. It finally let up right at the end, right after Landry Jones' fourth interception appeared to seal the Sooners' fate. But Husker kicker Alex Henery couldn't put it away giving OU one more chance. So Jones took it and threw his fifth interception.

But the Sooner quarterback may well deserve some slack. A redshirt freshman, he's been better than anybody should have hoped. Until he met the Huskers, then he threw high and long about as often as he threw off his back foot and short.

One play, likely to be overlooked, came on fourth-and-1 at the Husker 20. The Sooners going for it, Jones pitched deep in the backfield to DeMarco Murray, who went down for a loss. But there was no Husker in front of center Ben Habern. Jones could have called his own number and gone 4 yards.

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