Oklahoma made big plays all over the place Friday in handing 10th-ranked Nebraska another big disappointment.
The Sooners had 396 yards of offense and the defense came up with seven turnovers in a 45-10 victory. It improved their record to 8-3 overall and lifted them into a tie with Nebraska for second place in the Big Eight at 5-2.The victory ended a two-year losing streak against the Cornhuskers and also helped assuage the disappointment of last-minute losses to Texas and Iowa State, games the Sooners let get away.
Oklahoma coach Gary Gibbs said it was his team's biggest win in his two years as head coach.
"I'd have to say it is for our football team when you consider the quality of the opponent," Gibbs said. "Where Nebraska's ranked, the way we played, it was a great way to end the 1990 season."
The Sooners cannot go to a bowl because of NCAA sanctions. Nebraska, meanwhile, goes into the Citrus Bowl against Georgia Tech with a 9-2 record.
The first loss came at home against Colorado, which scored 27 fourth-quarter points to win. Now this.
The Cornhuskers were held to 118 rushing yards and 229 overall, both season lows. They entered the game averaging 362 rushing yards and 465 total yards.
Nebraska also had to play most of the game without quarterback Mickey Joseph, who was injured early in the first quarter and did not return.
"I knew it would be tough, and I thought it would be close," Nebraska coach Tom Osborne said. "I'm embarrassed, for myself and for our football team. I thought we had a better football team than that."
Oklahoma took control with a three-touchdown second quarter. Freshman Cale Gundy threw for one of the scores and snuck in for another, then set up the third with a long pass.
After the Cornhuskers made it 21-10 with a touchdown early in the third quarter, Oklahoma took control with two straight touchdowns by fullback Mike McKinley. That erased any doubt about the outcome.
McKinley, who had 87 yards on eight carries, scored on a 7-yard run four plays after an interception gave Oklahoma the ball at the Cornhuskers' 20. Then he scored late in the third quarter on a 48-yard run, his longest of the season.
"That was a great feeling, running down the sidelines," said McKinley, who stiff-armed safety Tyrone Byrd into the turf along the way. "I haven't had that feeling since high school."
Gundy, a true freshman, completed only five passes but they went for 119 yards. He hit tight end Adrian Cooper on a 36-yard touchdown early in the second quarter that gave the Sooners the lead for good, 7-3.
Cooper made a nice over-the-head catch while tightly guarded by Byrd, then added another nifty catch later in the quarter.
An interception gave Oklahoma the ball at the Nebraska 46. After a 3-yard loss on first down, Gundy threw deep to Cooper, who outjumped two defenders and came down with the ball at the 9-yard line.
McKinley scored his first touchdown of the day on the next play.
"I couldn't have written a better way to leave the University of Oklahoma," Cooper said.
In all, Oklahoma scored four touchdowns and a field goal after turnovers. One of the touchdowns was a 43-yard interception return by Greg DeQuasie.