Oklahoma football: Takeaways from 49-14 win over Nebraska

Sep 17, 2022; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Oklahoma Sooners cheerleaders pose for a photo after the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 17, 2022; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Oklahoma Sooners cheerleaders pose for a photo after the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

Oklahoma football went on the road for the first time this year, all the way to Lincoln, Nebraska, to take on their rivals, the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

The Huskers have been going through considerable turmoil and even fired their head coach Scott Frost after a loss to Georgia Southern last week. Memorial Stadium was rocking for this game, and there was a new sense of energy in Lincoln throughout the week. Still, after Nebraska’s adrenaline wore off, the game was all Sooners, who won 49-14 with little trouble. The Sooners were favored by 10.5 right before kickoff and easily covered that number.

The good

The offensive and defensive lines are the strength of this team. Oklahoma did some work at both lines of scrimmage, pushing the Huskers around on offense with a powerful showing. The Huskers managed to only get five tackles for loss during the duration of the contest, and the two sacks they got were more on QB Dillon Gabriel than the lineup front.

Defensively Oklahoma had eight TFLs at halftime and three sacks; they finished with nine TFLs, and four sacks, playing mostly reserves. Oklahoma controlled the line of scrimmage all day long. Nebraska averaged well under two yards per carry in the first half but was able to get up to 3.6 during garbage time. On the other hand, Oklahoma averaged nearly six yards per carry and rushed for more than 300 yards.

The running backs, whether it was Gray, Major, or Barnes, all of them looked physical, explosive, and decisive, running the ball. Gray had a nice-looking run breaking a few ankles for a touchdown, Major powered his way in from 11 yards out, and  Barnes had a nice-looking 31-yard gainer.

The bad

Dillon Gabriel started slowly in the game and needed a big play to settle in. Gabriel coming over from UCF, hasn’t had many chances to play in front of a crowd like he did today in Lincoln. He missed a few throws early on that we are accustomed to seeing him make, and it looked like he was a bit amped. Fortunately, he settled in, starting with a 61-yard scamper to the end zone for a touchdown to open up the scoring for OU.

Dashaun White made a big mistake in the waning minutes of the first half when the redshirt senior was ejected after a clear targeting call where he lowered his head and struck Nebraska QB Casey Thompson with the crown of his helmet. A sixth-year senior has to be more poised at the moment and refer to how he is taught to tackle. Fortunately, true freshman Jaren Kanak was game in his absence. White will not miss any time next week against Kansas State because the foul occurred in the first half. He is a leader for this team and will be needed.

Oklahoma football play of the game

Dillon Gabriel took things into his own hands with a 61-yard touchdown run, evening the score after Nebraska opened up with a 7-0 lead.

Players of the game

Offense: Dillon Gabriel

The UCF transfer put on a show today in the first half of the ball game. He threw a beautiful dime to Jalil Farooq and another superhuman throw to Wease between two Huskers. This is not to mention that 61-yard scamper for a score to open things up. Gabriel looked confident and comfortable.

Defense: Jaren Kanak

It’s hard to choose a player who didn’t play until it was 35-7, but holy smokes, was this game everywhere? Kanak led the Sooners with ten tackles and looked comfortable in the absence of Dashaun White, who was having a big game himself when he was ejected. Jaren had a nice QB pressure and flashed his speed and physicality. The future is bright for the true freshman Mike linebacker.


Oklahoma is really good! The Sooners were vanilla in their first two games, not showing much of their hand, but this team feels different. They are physical and fast, and nobody wants to deal with that offense or defense. The trenches are the big strength for this team on both the offensive and defensive front.

The culture has shifted at Oklahoma, and the players are all the way bought into the way Venables has constructed his program, and it shows.