New-look Sooner defense causes problems for NU


The Associated Press

Oklahoma quarterback Eric Moore slips away from Nebraska's Grant Wistrom.

By Todd Henrichs/The Independent

NORMAN, Okla. - A new look for Oklahoma defensively led to many of the problems that bothered Nebraska offensively in the first quarter Saturday.

Nebraska had just one first down and netted just seven yards on their 15 first-quarter plays, but still beat the Sooners 73-21 at Owen Field.

"They were crowding us and they were blitzing us a lot," Nebraska coach Tom Osborne said. "I'm not sure I adapted very well and there in the first quarter, we were kind of searching.

"By the start of the second quarter, we ha pretty well figured out what they were doing. But it was hard to communicate that to our players."

Nebraska did bounce back to score on four straight offensive possessions, but still finished with just 387 total yards. Nebraska came into the game averaging 441 yards a game.

Work ahead

Nebraska reserves could pay a price for yielding 21 fourth-quarter points to Oklahoma Saturday.

"We'll get after them in practice on Monday," defensive lineman Jason Peter said smiling. "The first team played great and so did the second team, but you have to be consistent all the way through. That's something we need to work on."

Osborne had praised Nebraska reserves for their performance in many games this season. He was not impressed Saturday after watching Oklahoma move for 179 of their 242 rushing yards in the final stanza.

"A lot of guys who had played well at the end of ballgames really kind of let things slip," he said.

Nagging toe

Nebraska running back Ahman Green said the turf toe injury that he suffered earlier this season still gives him problems.

Green was limited to just five yards on nine carries against Oklahoma.

"I've never had an injury like this before," a frustrated Green said Saturday. "I don't know what's going to happen."

Nebraska coach Tom Osborne said the injury did not appear to bother Green in Friday's walk-through practice. But he did not wear the cleated shoes he wore Saturday on the natural-grass playing surface.

"They just kind of pushed up enough to make it real sore," Green said.

Nebraska had no other major injuries Saturday. Cornerback Mike Fullman (ankle) was the only regular who did not make the trip.

Nebraska

quick hitters

The win assured Nebraska of its 35th consecutive winning seasons, a streak that leads the nation and ranks third all-time in NCAA Division I-A...Kris Brown's field goal moved him into a tie for fourth-place all-time at Nebraska with 22 three-pointers...Nebraska equaled its record for most points against a league opponent set last year against Iowa State.

Oklahoma

quick hitters

The Sooners' last score against Nebraska before De'Mond Parker's fourth-quarter TD run was Scott Blanton's 26-yard field goal in 1994. The last Sooner to score a touchdown against Nebraska was Dwayne Chandler in 1993...Tight end Stephen Alexander, the Sooners' leading receiver with 21 catches entering the game, will be out several weeks after suffering a separated shoulder against Nebraska...OU's average


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