Amie Just weighs in with her report card from No. 6 Oklahoma’s 49-14 romp of Nebraska.
RUN GAME (C-)
The streak ends for Anthony Grant. Grant, who had more than 100 yards rushing in each of the last three games, had just 36 yards on 13 carries in Saturday’s blowout. One positive: The future for Ajay Allen looks bright. He had 11 carries for 49 yards.
Gabe Ervin got plenty of run in garbage time — finishing the game with 60 yards on the ground.
In total, Nebraska had 130 net yards rushing on Saturday — but only 40 of those were by halftime. Which, to be fair, is when statistics stopped meaning anything in this game.
PASSING GAME (C-)
Before Nebraska pulled Casey Thompson and several starters, No. 11 completed 14 of 20 passes for 129 yards. The offensive line didn’t do Thompson any favors, allowing four sacks in the first half. There was no single culprit — the miscues came from all sides of the line.
Chubba Purdy completed 14 of 20 passes for 129 yards with one interception in the end zone and a rushing touchdown.
One silver lining for Nebraska? Trey Palmer. The LSU transfer was Thompson’s top target once again, reeling in 10 catches for 92 yards with a touchdown.
Nebraska finished the day with 164 yards passing.
AGAINST THE RUN (F)
Oklahoma ran the ball down Nebraska’s throats from the jump, finishing the game with 312 yards rushing. The last time a Nebraska opponent eclipsed the 300-yard mark was Wisconsin in 2019 when the Badgers amassed 320 yards on the ground.
Running back Eric Gray had the lion’s share of the yardage with 113 yards on 11 carries with two touchdowns.
OU quarterback Dillon Gabriel single-handedly made the Husker D look silly, too. On one play in particular in the first quarter, Gabriel was looking to throw and couldn’t find anyone on third-and-7, so, the former UCF quarterback just kept going, dancing down the sideline before cutting back into the endzone for a 61-yard touchdown run.
AGAINST THE PASS (D)
Dillon Gabriel was pulled early due to the score, but he still threw for 230 yards with two touchdowns.
Receiver Marvin Mims impressed from the game’s beginning, reeling in four receptions for 66 yards. Four receivers had more than 30 yards receiving for Oklahoma.
By the game’s end, Oklahoma had 268 yards in the pass game. OU finished the game with 580 yards.
SPECIAL TEAMS (C)
Not a great sign when one of the best tackles of the season comes from your punter, Brian Buschini. It’s even worse when your punter gets injured on that play. Buschini played through it, punting six times to average 40.8 yards per punt. Kicker Timmy Bleekrode, who also punted at Furman, relieved him in the third quarter. Bleekrode punted once for 51 yards.
In other news, Nebraska returned its first punt of the season and it went for minus-1 yard. Inversely, Mims returned three punts for 60 yards.
Nebraska’s opening drive was a beaut. Thompson and Co. easily navigated the script and went 77 yards down the field in six plays.
After that, though, Nebraska struggled to find a rhythm and didn’t adapt the play-calling to the pressure OU was getting on the Huskers’ offensive line. Nebraska’s offense gained 5 net yards on the next four drives combined. Over that span, Thompson was sacked thrice. (Thompson was sacked four times in total before Purdy relieved him in the third quarter.)
Midway through the second quarter, Nebraska finally gained some ground. The drive fizzled out after NU went for it on fourth-and-2 at the OU 19. I don’t fault NU for the aggression there. A field goal when you’re down 28-7 feels meaningless. What I do question: running a fourth-and-2 play out of the shotgun, and where the ball was spotted.
PERSONAL CONDUCT (C)
The offense wasn’t in sync several times, getting flagged three times for false starts. The Huskers were also flagged for an offensive holding call that negated a short rush from Grant.
Defensively, Quinton Newsome was flagged for pass interference in the second quarter on a play that otherwise could have resulted in a touchdown. Newsome celebrating after the play when the flag was already on the field was… interesting.
It’s one thing to lose to a top-tier team, but Nebraska got boat raced by Oklahoma. Time to hit the drawing board.
A Funk native and graduate of Lincoln Southeast, Amie Just joined the Journal Star as sports columnist after spending five seasons covering football for the New Orleans Times-Picayune and the Missoulian in Missoula, Montana.