Nebraska has Orange Bowl appearance on line in regular-season finale

(c) Copyright the News & Observer Publishing Co. and The Associated Press, 1994

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska didn't need a wake-up call against Iowa State to get ready to play Oklahoma in the regular-season finale.

Coach Tom Osborne said Sunday that his team knows what is on the line.

"I don't think we're going to have any problem there, either," Osborne said a day after Nebraska beat the Cyclones 28-12. "I think people are going to be very focused on this game. Oklahoma has good athletes, they have a decent record.

"It will be similar situation that we faced at Iowa State in terms of playing their last home game, their seniors' final game, their chance to turn a disappointing season into a good season, their chance to go to a decent bowl game. Oklahoma has a lot to play for and we have a lot to play for."

The No. 1 Huskers are 11-0 heading to Norman, Okla., to meet the Sooners (6-4) Nov. 25. Nebraska already has clinched at least a share of the Big Eight championship for a fourth straight year.

Conference officials say if Nebraska loses to Oklahoma and Colorado beats Iowa State in the Buffaloes' regular-season finale Nov. 19, the league would determine its representative in the Orange Bowl.

Osborne figures Oklahoma will give the same kind of effort Iowa State did.

Nebraska owns three straight wins over the Sooners. That equals Osborne's longest string of victories in the Big Eight rivalry that started in 1912. His teams also beat Oklahoma in 1981, 1982 and 1983.

Only Oklahoma stands in the way of Osborne's third unbeaten regular season at Nebraska. Nebraska completed unbeaten regular seasons in 1983 and again last season under Osborne.

Five times, Oklahoma has handed the Huskers their first regular-season loss, the last three against Osborne (1975, 1979 and 1987).

Osborne, 9-13 against Oklahoma in his 22-year career, has won in four of his last six visits to Norman.

After viewing game films of Saturday's escape against Iowa State, Osborne wasn't critical of his team's play. Instead, he applauded Iowa State's play.