Nebraska scored the first and last touchdowns of the game. Between those scores Oklahoma scored 49 unanswered points to rout the Huskers 49-14 on their home field. Dillon Gabriel completed 16 of his 27 pass attempts for 230 yards and two scores. He also averaged 9.2 yards per carry on his way to 55 yards and another score. Eric Gray had his best game of the season with 113 yards, and two touchdowns, on 11 carries. The Sooner offense averaged 7.35 yards per play on its way to a 580 yard performance.
Defensively the Sooners forced two turnovers and held Nebraska to just 14 points and 327 total yards. Led by Jaren Kanak’s 10 total tackles, Oklahoma recorded four quarterback sacks and nine total tackles for loss. Kanak forced a fumble, and subsequently recovered it, and Key Lawrence picked off a late pass as Ted Roof’s crew delivered yet another performance.
Oklahoma improved to 3-0 on the season and begins conference play next week when it hosts Kansas State. Here are three quick thoughts after Saturday’s win in Lincoln.
This Team Is The Vastly More Physical Than Last Year
It’s not just that they’re winning at the point of attack, using sound technique, and missing fewer tackles. This team is finishing and in doing so, punishing ball carriers, quarterbacks, and whoever else might be in the way. You see similar results on the offensive side of the ball as well. Players are finishing blocks with ferocity and the running backs can be absolutely brutal to bring down at times.
Dillon Gabriel Is An Excellent Game Manager Who Also Has The Ability To Produce Momentum Changing Plays
Gabriel wasn’t exceptional in Lincoln on Saturday but he was better than good. His completion percentage was just under 60% and he was responsible for three total touchdowns. Most importantly he was efficient once again. He didn’t turn the ball over and he guided the Sooners to the end zone on seven of the ten possessions in which he was at the helm of the offense. While he’s exceptional as a game manager he also can swing the momentum with a timely big play. Saturday provided a fantastic example of this when he scored on a 61-yard run. At that point of the game the Sooners were trailing 7-0 and the play was third down and seven. The energy in the stadium was already at a high level and had OU been forced to punt again there’s really no telling what the Huskers might have done. As it was, Gabriel not only put Oklahoma on the board but also silenced the crowd who have been absolutely electric up until that point.
It’s Time To Admit That This Defensive Front Is The Real Deal
I had been cautiously optimistic through the first two games, due to the level of competition, but I’m all in on how good this defensive front is now. They are powerful. They are fast. They are punishing. And they come from everywhere! After three weeks of consistently seeing quarterback pressures, sacks, and tackles for loss, it’s time to admit that this is the most disruptive defensive front in the Big 12.
More postgame info to come but that’s it for now. Give us some of your takeaways in the comments section.
Follow us on Twitter: @SportsHeartland