Spencer Rattler threw for 214 yards and a touchdown as No. 3 Oklahoma beat visiting Nebraska 23-16 on Saturday.
The Sooners’ 23 points were their fewest in more than five years.
Nebraska got the ball back with a chance to force overtime in the final minute, before a pair of Sooners sacks, and then a stop of Rahmir Johnson just short of the first down marker ended the game.
Oklahoma managed just 408 total yards, with 194 on the ground. Eric Gray ran 15 times for 84 yards for the Sooners (3-0).
In the waning seconds of the third quarter, Adrian Martinez finished off a nine-play, 75-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown run to cut the Sooners’ lead.
But Kelen Meyer got his hand on the extra-point try, blocking it into the hands of Pat Fields, who grabbed it a yard deep in the end zone and returned it for a two-point conversion to put Oklahoma up 16-9.
Earlier in that Nebraska (2-2) drive, running back Gabe Ervin Jr. crumpled to the ground during a run. Ervin, who had 9 carries for 18 yards, left and didn’t return.
The game was scheduled to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Nebraska’s 35-31 1971 victory in Norman in a game dubbed “The Game of the Century.”
Oklahoma opened with a 14-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to go ahead 7-0. But the Cornhuskers’ defense, which had allowed just 10 total points in its previous two games, made life difficult for Rattler and the Sooners’ offense after the early score.
The Cornhuskers answered the touchdown with a field goal for the last scoring of the half.
After going stagnant in the first half after the initial drive, the Sooners showed offensive life to extend their lead on Jeremiah Hall’s 1-yard touchdown catch with just less than four minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Kennedy Brooks scored early in the fourth quarter on a two-yard touchdown run to go up 23-9. Martinez hit Omar Manning for a touchdown later in the quarter to cut the deficit to one possession.
Martinez finished 19 of 25 for 289 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He ran for 34 yards and a score.
–Field Level Media