No. 3 Oklahoma 31, No. 1 Nebraska 14
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ Oklahoma is back all right _ just ask No. 1 Nebraska.
Josh Heupel threw for 300 yards and a touchdown, Derrick Strait returned an interception 32 yards for a score and the third-ranked Sooners shut down the mighty Cornhuskers 31-14 on Saturday.
After falling behind 14-0 in the first seven minutes, Oklahoma roared back behind Heupel’s passing and a smothering defense to derail Nebraska’s run at the national championship and enhance its own.
The Huskers (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) still have a chance to get back in the title chase if they can win out and then beat the Sooners (7-0, 4-0) in a rematch in the Big 12 title game on Dec. 2.
For now, though, Oklahoma is poised to move into the No. 1 ranking in the AP poll, take over first place in the Bowl Championship Series standings and play in its first title game since losing to Miami in the 1988 Orange Bowl.
In ending the Huskers’ 13-game winning streak _ longest among major colleges _ the Sooners became just the third team to beat the Nos. 1 and teams in consecutive games. Two weeks ago, Oklahoma beat then-No. 2 Kansas State 41-31. The others schools to beat the top two teams in consecutive games were Notre Dame in 1988 and Southern California in 1964.
In the renewal of this great rivalry after a two-year absence, the Sooners ended an embarrassing seven-game losing streak against the Huskers, who outscored Oklahoma 265-61 in those games.
This time it was the Sooners who dominated a Nebraska team that was second nationally in scoring at 46.3 points per game and first in rushing at 379.7 yards. After the Huskers gained 169 yards on their first two possessions, the Sooners held them to 159 the rest of the way as they scored the final 31 points of the game.