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Official Husker Locker Blog

2009 Nov 02

Mirror Images


By HuskerLocker

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Childhood friends, former colleagues and now Big 12 head coaches on opposite sides of the field, Oklahoma's Bob Stoops and Nebraska's Bo Pelini both reflected Monday on the renewal of the NU-OU rivalry, watered down as it may be after the formation of the Big 12 Conference and its North and South divisions.

“Anytime you've played for a long time and the games were meaningful, there's going to be a different air to the game,” Pelini said during Monday's Big 12 coaches' teleconference. “A lot of people take it real seriously and we're looking forward to it.”

Stoops said the rivalry has “no question” changed now that the teams only play two out of every four years, but the OU staff – which includes former Sooners Cale Gundy, Josh Heupel, Chris Wilson and Jackie Shipp - “puts it in front of the players” during game week. In the past, Oklahoma has shown a video of classic moments from the series.

“You do your best to educate them on it,” Stoops said. “You'd like them to sure understand where the rivalry used to be and the tradition of it.”

Another common thread in the 2009 game: Defense. Nebraska and Oklahoma are near the top of the Big 12 and the nation in several defensive categories – NU is 9th and 4th in total and scoring defense, while OU is 11th and 8th against slightly better competition – and have accomplished their success in similar fashion: With strong pass rushes – both teams average more than three sacks per game – and tough run defenses.

“Very physical,” Stoops said of NU's defense. “A great front four. Better defenses are really good up front. Strong, physical guys up front and physical guys across the board. Very disciplined, which you'd expect from watching Bo's defenses.”

Said Pelini of OU: “There's some similarities, some differences. They're a little more pressure-oriented than us right now and they've been in the system a lot longer than we have. They do a good job.”

Tags: bob stoops, bo pelini, oklahoma game

Comments (1)

Profile image for Gassman

Maybe the idiot Beebe would consider a shift from North-South divisions to East-West? I would say after 14 seasons of giving up our only rivalry, we deserve a bit of consideration? Here is the breakdown, East Division: Iowa St., Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St. West: aTm, Baylor, Colorado, Kansas St., TTech, UT
Like the idea of a 9th conference game, that way the whiners from UT can keep their precious red river soiree. Or eliminate the divisions, draw conference foes randomly, but have to play each at least once every three years, and eliminate the conference c-chip game. they will never move that from the Jerry Mahal or points south anyways.

– Nov 2, 2009 at 11:16 pm

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