Coach Tom Osborne's Cornhuskers survived two early Oklahoma scares and went on to ease years of frustration with a 37-14 win on the Sooners' home turf that sent the Huskers to Miami with an unbeaten Big Eight record.
It looked like a familiar script at first, when the Sooners went 80 yards in six plays after the opening kickoff to take a 7-0 lead. OU was moving again after a Husker field goal, but was stopped by the first of five fumbles, and when Nebraska scored TDs on its next three possessions to take a 24-7 halftime lead, the game was all but decided.
With quarterback Turner Gill out, Mark Mauer filled in with a classic performance. Much-maligned early in the season, Maurer completed 11 of 16 passes vs. the Sooners for 148 yards and one TD, and directed a Husker offense that out-rushed the vaunted OU wishbone for the second-straight year, 314-277.
Nov. 21, 1981
Nebraska 10 14 10 3 - 37
Oklahoma 7 0 7 0 - 14
OU - Buster Rhymes 20 run (Michael
NU - FG Eddie Neil 38
NU - Roger Craig 19 run (Kevin Seibel kick)
NU - Phil Bates 16 run (Seibel kick)
NU - Mitch Krenk 6 pass from Mark Mauer
OU - Darrell Shepard 1 run (Keeling kick)
NU - FG Neil 37
NU - Bates 2 run (Seibel kick]
NU - FG Neil 24
First downs 27 21
Rushes-yards 63-314 53-277
Passing yards 148 73
Comp-Att-Int 11-18-1 6-15-0
Total offense 81-462 68-350
Return yards 28 9
Punts 3-34.3 4-40.5
Fumbles-lost 0-0 5-3
Penalties-yards 7-65 2-32
Time of possession 33:00 27:00
Nebraska, Mike Rozier 24-105, Craig 18-102, Bates 12-75.
Oklahoma, Stanley Wilson 21-164, Shepard 15-57, Alvin Ross 9-34
Nebraska, Mauer 11-16-1-148.
Oklahoma, Shepard 3-6-0-39, Kelly Phelps 3-9-0-34.
Nebraska, Krenk 3-35, Rozier 2-52, Anthony Steels 2-30.
Oklahoma, Paul Clewis 2-31, Wilson 2-22.