What felt like a down-to-the-wire Nebraska-Oklahoma battle from a bygone era also had the distinct feel of a Huskers game over the last several years.

The height of the NU-OU rivalry following the 1971 Game of the Century was littered with one score games, 11 of them from 1972 to 1988. Saturday was no different.

The Scott Frost era has been a roller coaster with the groin kick of a result locked up time and time again due to costly errors. Saturday was no different.

"If I had a nickel for everything we're doing to avoid those mistakes, I'd have a lot of nickels," Nebraska coach Scott Frost said.

The No. 3 Sooners (3-0) took a nearly seven minute possession on the opening drive of the game for a touchdown. Nebraska (2-2) answered with nearly the same amount of time coming off the clock but ended with a field goal.

After exchanging punts, Oklahoma missed a 54-yard field goal, giving Nebraska the ball at midfield. The Huskers moved into field goal range themselves to try and close the gap but also missed.

That wouldn't be the last field goal miss by Nebraska on the day.

Ask any Husker fan, of any age, before the game, would you take a 7-3 deficit in Norman at halftime, and the answer for nearly every respondent would have been 100 percent. Plus Nebraska got the ball to start the third quarter.

Another long drive, this time 5:41, and the Huskers again lined up for a field goal. Again, the kick missed.

OU answered with a touchdown drive, meaning Nebraska needed to produce or run the risk of losing all momentum.

Utilizing both the running and receiving of Rahmir Johnson, plus a 38-yard dime to Travis Vokolek, Adrian Martinez was able to cap off the drive with a short touchdown run. The problem was that the kicking squad would again take the field.

After having missed two field goals in the game, and five on the season and two extra point misses, Connor Culp stayed on the sideline with walk-on Kelen Meyer getting his shot.

Oklahoma brought pressure for the extra point, running straight through right guard Ethan Piper, and a Sooner blocked the attempt. Another Sooner, Pat Fields, picked up the ball and returned it the other way for two points.

The Sooners took that momentum down the field on the next possession and extended the lead to 23-9 with 10:24 to go in the game.

The next Husker possession began with a timeout before a play could be run. Remember that for later.

Nebraska got into the red zone, but a sack pushed offense into a fourth-and-17. Martinez avoided another sack and tossed a pass near the goal line that was picked off.

The first interception of the year for Martinez was as good as any Nebraska fan could have hoped for. Backed up on their own three, OU went three-and-out.

Three plays was all it took for Martinez to find Omar Manning in the end zone and, after an uneventful extra point, bring the game to 23-17.

With only two NU timeouts and Oklahoma establishing a run game, the Sooners burned 4:40 before having to punt. Nebraska used both of their final timeouts to save time on the clock.

Having just 57 seconds and no timeouts, the Huskers needed a perfect drive to keep the hopes of a win alive. Instead, Martinez was sacked twice and threw to the middle of the field twice as the clock struck all zeros.

A 23-16 loss is closer than most predicted for the game, but for Nebraska's quarterback it is still just a loss.

"We had our chances to take them down," Martinez said. "Our guys aren't into moral victories. We want to win games. At the end of the day, we lost the game."

Nebraska got into the OU redzone four times, all in the second half, but only came away with 14 points.

"It seemed like we were handling the line of scrimmage and running on them well until we got inside the 25," Frost said. "We have some things to fix and a lot of things to build on."

Despite his first interception of the season, Martinez was phenomenal. The fourth year starter was 19-for-25 passing for 289 yards and a touchdown, adding 34 net yards on the ground and another score.

The problem was constant pressure in the backfield as Martinez was sacked five times.

Nebraska's offensive line, besides giving up five sacks, achieved the unenviable stat of having all five lineman penalized. The Huskers finished with eight penalties on the day.

Leading the Huskers in rushing was Rahmir Johnson with 11 carries for 42 yards. Gabe Ervrin, who left the game with a non-contact injury, ran nine times for 18 yards.

After three straight games with a 100-yard receiver, Zavier Betts led the way with a still-impressive 61 yards. Eight different Huskers were targeted Saturday, with seven of them making catches.

Defensively, JoJo Domann flew all over the field to lead all tacklers with 12. He had one of five Blackshirt pass breakups, though three had a good chance to be interceptions instead.

The special teams mistakes have increased each game. Culp is now up to five missed field goals with two missed extra points on the season.

"Connor missed a lot of camp with an injury," Frost said. "I don't know if its a lack of reps or what it is but I know how good he can be.

"The kicking game cost us a bunch of points today and that's happened too often."

The 87th all-time meeting between Nebraska and Oklahoma was the first since the 2010 Big 12 Championship Game. OU's series lead extends to 46-38-3.

"I'm disappointed for (the team) because we had a chance there and that would have been pretty special for them," Frost said.

Nebraska proved to the nation that they can play with anyone, falling at the number three team in the land's house by one score, but this program remains without a "we're back" moment for fans to look to. With eight games to go, the Huskers need to finish .500 to make their first bowl game under Frost.

"Everything (Nebraska wants) to accomplish this year is right in front of them," Frost said he told his team after the loss. "We're gonna get more opportunities to win a big game. If they play like that, like we played today, all year, and fight that hard all year, we're gonna have a chance in a lot of games.

"As disappointed as I am, I'm happy with the way they competed."

The Huskers stay on the road next week for a night game in East Lansing. Michigan State (3-0) is coming off a 38-17 victory at No. 24 Miami.