Nebraska interim head coach Mickey Joseph said practice during his first week leading the program had been “fast” as the Cornhuskers attempt to pick up the pieces following the firing of Scott Frost.
And Nebraska started fast against No. 6 Oklahoma, scoring a touchdown on its first possession on a 32-yard pass from quarterback Casey Thompson to Trey Palmer.
And then it all fell apart.
Oklahoma scored a touchdown on five of its eight first-half possessions, taking a 35-7 lead into the locker room at halftime and blowing out the Cornhuskers 49-14 in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The sixth-ranked team in the country poured it on to start the second half, scoring touchdowns on its first two possessions and putting the game on ice.
Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel finished the game 16-for-27 for 230 yards and two touchdowns and was replaced by backup quarterback Davis Beville in the third quarter.
“The way our guys came out in the first half … everything on both sides of the ball,” Oklahoma head coach Brent Venables said after the game. “The first drive was a little shaky, but our guys responded. I loved the attitude and hunger in the locker room at halftime and the way we came out in the third quarter and really slammed the door on them.”
A traditional rivalry, Saturday was the first time Oklahoma played at Nebraska since 2009 and just the third time the two teams have played the past 13 seasons.
Oklahoma is in its first year under Venables, who took over after Lincoln Riley departed for USC during the offseason.
Nebraska running back Anthony Grant, who entered the game second in the country in rushing yards, gained just 36 yards on 13 carries Saturday afternoon. Quarterback Casey Thompson was 14-for-20 for 129 yards and a touchdown before being replaced by Chubba Purdy in the third quarter.
Nebraska has a bye week before taking on Indiana at home. Oklahoma begins its Big 12 schedule against Kansas State in Week 4.