Even though Oklahoma U. got dismantled 3-0 last Saturday at Iowa State, its first top-10 competition of the year, the team is still off to a solid start. Prior to losing to the Cyclones, the Sooners had won six straight games.
However, tonight’s opponent is the toughest the team may face all year: No. 3 Nebraska.
The Cornhuskers are consistently one of the top teams in the country, and they are also one of the Sooners’ biggest rivals. The OU team is well aware of Nebraska’s reputation and would love to take the perennial powerhouse down in front of a home crowd. On top of that, OU has never beaten Nebraska under current coach Santiago Restrepo, something that gives the Sooners added motivation.
“We really want to beat a team like Nebraska,” Restrepo said. “That’s a team that we have never beaten since I have been here, and we really want to send them out with a loss in their last year in the conference.”
Nebraska is off to its usual fast start this year with only one loss, none in conference play. OU, on the other hand, is 2-1 and trying to avoid falling to .500 in the Big 12. This game has serious implications both locally and nationally. The Sooners want to seize one of their last opportunities to beat the Huskers, and a Sooner victory would also surprise the nation.
The teams face each other twice during the regular season, but this will be the only time that OU gets the Huskers in Norman. Though it’s still early, this game has season-shaping potential for OU: Win and the Sooners are looking at a 3-1 conference record, national respect and one of the biggest wins in program history; lose and they are simply fighting to stay above .500 in the Big 12.
The Sooners host Nebraska at 7 tonight at McCasland Field House.