It wasn’t until Husker cornerback Jim Anderson picked off a deflected pass in the end zone as time ran out that NU could exhale and look ahead, and do so knowing it finally had a winning streak against its rival.
“You go back to the Bud Wilkinson era when Oklahoma was a dominant force in the country, not just in the Big Eight, but in the country. And so Oklahoma was always a contender to win the conference year in and year out,” former NU quarterback Van Brownson said. “And coach Devaney came in there and started having some success against them, and it just kind of built into a good rivalry because Nebraska was getting good athletes, and Oklahoma was getting good athletes, and they were always good football games.”
This wasn’t a classic Oklahoma team. The Sooners came in 6-3 in the first year of running the wishbone offense, still working out the kinks in a system that would carry them to so much success down the road.
It may have just given OU a bit of an advantage. The Huskers had to prepare for something they had hardly seen, and quarterback Jack Mildren also gave the Sooners a throwing threat.
And there was that matter of really, really wanting to beat their rival.
“They liked playing us, they liked beating us, we liked beating them, and that rivalry’s been there for a long, long time. And it just continues,” NU linebacker Jerry Murtaugh said. “In our day we didn’t talk much. And they didn’t either. They just came out to hit you, and beat you up. And that’s what I liked about them. There was no pussyfooting around — we’re going to come get you. And that’s the way to be. And that’s the way they were.”
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