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OU-Nebraska: Our Picks

SI Sooners staff picks Saturday's Oklahoma game against Nebraska.

John Hoover

History aside, this doesn’t need to be an entertaining game. Nebraska isn’t good. Oklahoma is a 23-point favorite for a reason. But the fact is that Nebraska has better players than Tulane, and Tulane almost beat OU in Norman two weeks ago. Maybe that got the Sooners’ attention. Maybe they just needed a wake-up call to start the season, for some reason. If both teams play their best, OU wins in a rout. But if Oklahoma somehow takes the Cornhuskers lightly — if the Sooners’ mental approach is off again, or if they’re buying into the hype again — it’ll be a game late. With a scoot-around quarterback like Adrian Martinez and athletes like Markese Stepp and Samori Tuore, that could get interesting. OU needs to win in the trenches or it’ll be closer than they want.

Final: Oklahoma 31, Nebraska 14

Ryan Chapman

The first Battle of the Big Reds in over a decade will be a spectacle to behold, but unfortunately I don’t think the game will rise to the level of the atmosphere. Oklahoma has the Cornhuskers overmatched in seemingly every way, but that doesn’t mean it will be completely one-way traffic on Saturday morning. Adrian Martinez is incredibly dynamic with his legs. Much like against Tulane, I think the ‘Huskers will have some early success on the ground via the RPO. But unlike the season opener, I anticipate Oklahoma’s focus to maintain through four quarters, and eventually OU’s talent in the trenches on both sides will take over this game and make it a comfortable second half for Lincoln Riley’s crew.

Final: Oklahoma 38 Nebraska 17

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Josh Callaway

This is going to be such an interesting matchup for a lot of reasons that go beyond just the rekindling of this great rivalry. Finally, after two weeks of waiting, we get to really see if the Sooners have tweaked the things that went wrong against Tulane. Both offensively and defensively, Oklahoma should be able to control things here into an easy win. However, there is room for disaster on both fronts if the focus and execution is not there from the jump. Adrian Martinez is plenty dynamic enough to cause problems and likely will in spurts throughout the day. But the Sooners’ defense should be able to adjust and keep the Huskers under wraps for the most part while Spencer Rattler and the Oklahoma offense gets out a solid showing to build a lead and keep it comfortable. Sooners take care of business here and never really sweat it in the second half.

Final: Oklahoma 48, Nebraska 24

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