Saturday, December 4, 2010
Halftime analysis: Nebraska 20, OU 17
By David Ubben
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Both defenses are playing well, but they've both given up a long touchdown, and the offenses have turned it over, which has given us a little more scoring than I expected tonight. We'll see if either offense can exploit the defenses in the second half, too. I doubt it, but those types of breakdowns are impossible to predict.
The big story has been Oklahoma capturing the momentum after falling behind 17-0 and looking flat early on.
Turning point: There were plenty of plays that could be in contention for this one, but Oklahoma's 49-yard deep ball down the middle to Kenny Stills injected some life into the Sooners, and keyed a run of 17 consecutive points to tie the game. Taylor Martinez's inexcusable interception in the back of the end zone, and Roy Helu Jr.'s fumble in Nebraska territory that set up Oklahoma's game-tying touchdown are in the running as well.
Stat of the half: Oklahoma penalties: Three for 30 yards. Nebraska's: Two for 10. Hopefully this is the last time we have to talk about this.
Best player in the half: Kenny Stills, Oklahoma. His two catches were two of Oklahoma's biggest plays of the half. The first was his 49-yard score, and the second was a nifty double move on one of the conference's best corners, Alfonzo Dennard, for a 30-yard gain down to the goal line.
Best player in the half II: Alex Henery, Nebraska. He's proving just how valuable special teams are in close games. His 54-yard field goal in the first quarter put the Huskers up 10-0 and would have been good from well beyond 60 yards. His 42-yarder helped the Huskers take back some momentum heading into halftime.
Best call: Nebraska called for a play-action pass on 4th-and-1, and Martinez hit Mike McNeill for a 36-yard gain down to the 9-yard line. Unfortunately for the Huskers, Martinez threw a preventable interception in the back of the end zone three plays later.
Best call II: Oklahoma must have been paying attention. The Sooners went with a naked bootleg on a 4th-and-1 of their own, and Landry Jones was all by himself down the left sideline for a 15-yard gain into the red zone. The Sooners finished that drive with a field goal.
What Oklahoma needs to do: Keep the pace up. Nebraska did well early, but the Sooners' no-huddle got to them late. Oklahoma has outgained Nebraska 280-209, but it was even more lopsided before Nebraska went 56 yards on its last drive of the half to set up the go-ahead field goal.
What Nebraska needs to do: Seems pretty simple. Quit turning it over. Nebraska cost itself points with Martinez's interception, and Helu's fumble set up the Sooners game-tying touchdown. Both the defense and offense are playing well enough to win the game.