The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

November 1, 2008

Maybe legends should’ve played

NORMAN — How ironic the stars of the 1971 Oklahoma-Nebraska game (Game of the Century) were honored at halftime of this year’s Sooners-Huskers game.

After the players and coaches were introduced, the public address announcer thanked them “for the greatest game ever played in this treasured rivalry.’’ 

It’s safe to say the 2008 game won’t be remembered the same way.

One might have wondered if the Huskers would have done better if they had suited up some of the legends who were at Owen Field Saturday.

Who would have thought the Sooners would be up 49-14 at halftime on their way to a big victory over Nebraska?

This is not the program that produced Jeff Kinney, Johnny Rodgers, Larry Jacobsen and John Dutton, some of the notable Huskers who were in Norman Saturday. All four played key roles in NU’s 35-31 win in 1971.

Huskers quarterback Joe Ganz proved retired Texas coach Darrell Royal’s theory of three things can happen when you pass — and two are bad.

Ganz’s first pass was intercepted by Dominique Franks, who returned it 18 yards for a touchdown.

His second was a 9-yard completion to Dreu Young, who fumbled at the OU 48. The Sooners needed only three plays to score on a 48-yard pass from Sam Bradford to Quentin Chaney.

Ganz’s third pass was intercepted by Lendy Holmes, who returned it 26 yards to the Huskers 9. Bradford hit Jermaine Gresham on a touchdown pass the next play.

It was OU 28, Nebraska 0 with 9:27 left in the first period.

One prominent radio host left in the first quarter, opting to watch the Texas Tech-Texas game on TV. Nebraska coach Bo Pelini no doubt would have liked to join him.

There were several empty seats in the student section at halftime. Sooner fans in the past wouldn’t have left such a massacre of the Huskers.

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