No. 6 Oklahoma handed Nebraska one of its worst losses in program history on Saturday in a 49-14 decision at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska. In the 88 meetings between these two programs, the Sooners’ 49 points are the most against the Cornhuskers.

Nebraska got on the board with an impressive script drive, but the effort then turned into an embarrassment. The Sooners took a 49-7 lead with nine minutes left and cruised to victory, but the Cornhuskers didn’t score a point until three minutes remained in foul time.

Sooner quarterback Dillon Gabriel played well in his first start against a Power Five opponent in 2022. Gabriel threw for a career-long 61-yard touchdown to lead the offense, adding 230 yards through the air and two touchdowns. However, Eric Gray, who had 113 returns for over 300 yards in the rushing game, scored two scores on just 11 carries.

Nebraska quarterback Casey Thompson threw for 129 yards and a touchdown, while Trey Palmer added 10 catches for 92 yards and a score. However, a porous offensive line allowed the Sooners to extract four sacks from Thompson and only 2.8 yards per carry to running back Anthony Grant.

For Oklahoma, a major statement

Oklahoma played well in its two games against UTEP and Kent State, but the first half against Nebraska was perfect football. The Sooners posted 355 yards at 8.1 yards per game and held the Cornhuskers to 3.4 yards per play. The defensive line held Nebraska underwater and made Thompson’s life a living hell.

When Venables took over the program, the hope was that the Sooners would regain some of the physicality that characterized their older teams. This win over Nebraska may not have meant as much as it usually does, but the dominance and level of execution was a clear change from last season’s 23-16 matchup between these teams.

While many of the top national contenders seem to have misfired, Oklahoma has an opening statement of its own. The Sooners should go straight into the national discussion after knocking off a Big Ten opponent on the road.

For Nebraska, total shame

Hopes that the end of the Scott Frost era would lead to a quick leap forward were quickly dashed against a bitter rival. The opening scripted drive spread the ball around, but after a few quarters, the body language quickly fell apart.

After allowing a long touchdown to Gabriel early in the game, Nebraska’s defense looked shaky and struggled to regain any mojo. The receivers played with little confidence in their quarterback game. After taking a punt, Nebraska fumbled.

Oklahoma had never scored more than 48 points against the Cornhuskers, but the Sooners reached that mark early in the third quarter. The 35-point margin of victory was the widest since 1990, a 16-game hitting streak. It was tragic on every level in Lincoln.

Welcome to the party, Jaren Kanak

In the second quarter, Oklahoma tackler Dashawn White was ejected following a targeting penalty. Venables brought in Jaren Canak, the lone recruit from Clemson to follow to Norman. Expectations were high for the former four-star, but his performance has been downhill and off the charts.

Canuck led the Sooners with 10 tackles in less than a half, and caused major issues for Nebraska’s defenses. He was only credited for his speed in one quarter, but Canuck was around the ball on several occasions.

Oklahoma was looking for a star to fill the “Cheetah” position at linebacker. White is a tough player, but Canuck is the future at the position.

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