November 2, 1997 in Sports

Huskers Stage Fireworks Display Ou’s Worst Loss Ends Series For Now; Osborne Wins 250th

Associated Press
 

A landmark day for Tom Osborne was also a big day for Grant Wistrom.

The Nebraska coach reached 250 victories faster than any coach in college football history on Saturday and the top-ranked Cornhuskers said goodbye to long-time archrival Oklahoma with a record-setting 69-7 victory.

Wistrom forced three fumbles, recovered one and had two sacks for Nebraska (8-0, 5-0 Big 12).

Osborne, in his 25th season, got No. 250 in his 302nd game, 18 fewer than Penn State’s Joe Paterno needed to reach that plateau. Osborne is 250-49-3.

The Nebraska-Oklahoma series has been played annually since 1928 and almost every year produced the champion of the Big Eight. When the Big 12 was formed, Nebraska and Oklahoma went into different divisions and aren’t scheduled to play again until 2000.

Osborne said he would miss the Sooners.

“It’s kind of sad not to play them for a couple of years because of the history, but life goes on and we have to play Missouri next week,” he said.

The 62-point margin was the worst in Oklahoma history, exceeding the 52-point deficit in last year’s 73-21 loss to the Huskers. Oklahoma had its lead in the series reduced to 39-36-3.

After the game, fireworks exploded above the stadium and Nebraska’s captains presented Osborne with the game ball, drawing thunderous cheers from the scattered faithful who endured a fourth-quarter rainstorm.

Osborne took a microphone at midfield and downplayed the accomplishment by giving credit to others.

“I would like to thank the players and the coaches,” Osborne said. “You’ve given us great dedication over the years. In particular, I would also like to thank the fans, who have been very faithful over the years.”

Other than Ahman Green’s fumble on the first possession, the Cornhuskers faced few difficulties against the Sooners (3-6, 1-4).

Oklahoma looked hapless against a defense that recorded a 29-0 win over Texas Tech on Oct. 18 and a 35-0 victory last week at Kansas.

Mixing the option with the multiple set used earlier in the season, Oklahoma produced only 85 rushing yards and 154 overall. Brandon Daniels, a high school option quarterback who started the year as a defensive back, had three of the Sooners’ seven first-half fumbles.

Nebraska struck for 20 points in the first quarter, turning three Oklahoma fumbles into two field goals by Kris Brown and a 15-yard touchdown run by Correll Buckhalter.

Osborne sent in the defensive reserves near the 5-minute mark of the third quarter, about the same time rain began to soak the field.

© Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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