Sooners and Cornhuskers to meet in Norman in 2021, in Lincoln in 2022.
NORMAN, Okla. -- The University of Oklahoma Athletics Department announced Thursday that an agreement has been reached to play a home-and-home football series with the University of Nebraska. The two teams will renew their historic rivalry in Norman on Sept. 18, 2021 and will square off in Lincoln on Sept. 17, 2022.
"Classic rivalries like Oklahoma-Nebraska are part of college football's historic fabric," said OU vice president and director of athletics, Joe Castiglione. "The ability to rekindle a fabled series between two tradition-rich programs and two extremely loyal and passionate fan bases was very important to both universities.
"Playing marquee non-conference opponents remains an integral part of our scheduling philosophy. Games like Oklahoma-Nebraska embody all the qualities that make regular season Saturdays in college football matter to so many."
Seasons (including 2012)
Wins in Series
Wins Since WW II
College Hall of Famers
Weeks in the AP Top 25
This pair of longtime Big 12 and Big 8 foes most recently met in the 2010 Big 12 Championship Game when Oklahoma claimed a 23-20 victory on Dec. 4 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Nebraska's most recent visit to Norman came when the Sooners registered a 62-28 win on Nov. 1, 2008.
The most storied game in this historic series is undoubtedly the fabled 1971 "Game of the Century" in Norman that featured No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 1 Nebraska as the Cornhuskers prevailed by a 35-31 count. The game in 2021 will commemorate the 50th anniversary of that classic OU-Nebraska contest.
The two teams also entered their 1987 contest ranked atop the AP Poll, as Barry Switzer's No. 2 Sooners captured a 17-7 win over Tom Osborne's No. 1 Cornhuskers.
OU leads the all-time series by a 45-38-3 margin. The two teams met every year from 1928 to 1997.
Oklahoma has won six of its eight last meetings with Nebraska under head coach Bob Stoops, including a 31-14 home victory in 2000 en route to OU's seventh national championship as the No. 3 Sooners upset the No. 1 Cornhuskers. The Sooners also prevailed by a 21-7 margin in the 2006 Big 12 Championship Game played at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.
The Early Years
The first recorded footage of the OU-Nebraska series takes us back to 1932, which was also the first time the schools met with conference title implications. The Sooners entered the contest at 3-1 in the Big 6 and could win the title by beating the Huskers, who were 3-0 with two games remaining. Nebraska held OU scoreless, however, winning 5-0 in front of 15,000 fans in Norman.
Evenly-matched battles defined the series over the next 18 years, with Nebraska holding a 9-8-1 advantage. The next landmark contest came in 1950, with the game again determining the conference champion.
A sophomore halfback named Billy Vessels ran for 208 yards and three touchdowns and passed for another as the Sooners topped the Cornhuskers, 49-35. The win secured the Big 7 title and Oklahoma went on to win the school's first national championship under head coach Bud Wilkinson.
Nov. 24, 1966 | OU 10, NU 9
Nebraska strolled into Norman with a perfect 9-0 record and a national title on its mind, but the Sooners spoiled their hopes. The Huskers took a 9-7 lead with a touchdown late in the third quarter, but OU's Bobby Stephenson blocked the extra point try. That opened the door for the upset. Mike Vachon hit a 21-yard field goal with just 48 seconds remaining to hand Nebraska its only loss of the season.
Nov. 25, 1971 | NU 35, OU 31
The "Game of the Century" pitted No. 1 Nebraska against No. 2 Oklahoma with the Big 8 title and a chance to play for the national championship on the line. Both teams had dangerous weapons on offense -- the Sooners with Mildren, Pruitt and Harrison; the Huskers with Rodgers, Tagge and Kinney. OU came back twice from 11-point deficits to take the lead, the final time with 7:10 left in the game. Nebraska responded with a 12-play, 74-yard scoring drive to win the game, going on to win the national championship by beating Alabama in the Orange Bowl.
Nov. 26, 1976 | OU 20, NU 17
With a late come-from-behind 20-17 win in Lincoln, the term "Sooner Magic" was born. Trailing by four with less than five minutes to play, Oklahoma dug into its bag of tricks. First, a halfback pass from Woodie Shepard to Steve Rhodes, OU's first pass attempt of the game, gained 47 yards. Later, facing a 3rd-and-19 at the Nebraska 34, a hook-and-ladder got the Sooners to the two. Elvis Peacock provided the winning score on the next play with only 38 seconds left. Switzer said after the game, "This was one of the biggest and most satisfying wins we've ever had."
Nov. 25, 1977 | OU 38, NU 7
No. 11 Nebraska came to Norman with hopes of sharing the Big 8 crown but left on the short end of a 38-7 defeat. OU's backfield of Thomas Lott, Elvis Peacock and Billy Sims shredded the Husker defense as the Sooners racked up more than 400 yards on the ground. With the win, Oklahoma jumped to No. 2 in the polls with a 10-1 record and earned the right to play No. 1 Arkansas in the Orange Bowl.
Jan. 1, 1979 | OU 31, NU 24
Oklahoma fumbled away its chance to beat Nebraska during the regular season, falling 17-14. But after the Huskers were upset by Missouri in the final game of the regular season, the schools shared the Big 8 crown and the Orange Bowl pitted them against one another in a rematch. The Sooners got their redemption with a 31-24 victory in Miami.
The buildup to this game featured some good old-fashioned ribbing between Switzer and Devaney on the NU coach's weekly TV show (view video to the left). After the Huskers took the lead late in the fourth quarter, the Nebraska faithful began celebrating by throwing oranges onto the field. The party was premature, however, as OU marched right back, going 80 yards in eight plays, with Buster Rhymes diving into the end zone for the decisive score in the final minute of play.
Nov. 22, 1986 | OU 20, NU 17
Known for its vaunted running game, Oklahoma turned to the pass to steal a victory in Lincoln. Tight end Keith Jackson provided the heroics, snagging a one-handed catch for 30 yards before stepping out of bounds. Tim Lashar nailed a 31-yard field goal to secure the victory. "This was no comeback," linebacker Brian Bosworth said after the game. "It was destiny."
Billed as "Game of the Century II", No. 2 Oklahoma disappointed the record crowd in Lincoln by dominating much of the game against No. 1 Nebraska.
The Huskers crossed midfield just three times in the entire contest as the Sooner defense held them nearly 300 yards below their nation-leading average. The win completed an undefeated regular season for the Sooners.
defeating a pair of ranked teams in its previous two games, Oklahoma completed a memorable "Red October" by toppling the No. 1 Cornhuskers. Nebraska took an early 14-0 lead with scoring drives of 76 and 91 yards on its first two possessions, but it was all Sooners from there. OU stormed back with 24 points in the second quarter and never looked back on its way to the program's seventh national championship.
In the conference title game, Oklahoma defeated Nebraska, 21-7, amid freezing conditions in Kansas City. Senior quarterback Paul Thompson threw two touchdown passes and led the longest scoring drive in Big 12 Championship history to secure the victory.
In their most recent meeting and Nebraska's final Big 12 game, the Sooners claimed their seventh Big 12 championship by defeating the Huskers, 23-20. Quarterback Landry Jones threw for 342 yards and a touchdown and also sneaked in for another score as the Sooners made the second-biggest comeback in Big 12 championship history, rallying from a 17-point deficit.
OU inspires champions today and prepares leaders for tomorrow by enabling its student-athletes to achieve their highest academic, athletic and personal aspirations. The OU Athletics Department sponsors 21 varsity sports with more than 600 student-athletes and is completely self-supporting.
Sooner Sports Properties, LLC, is the multimedia rights holder for athletics at the University of Oklahoma. Sooner Sports Properties is a joint venture of Learfield Communications, Renda Broadcasting and Griffin Television.