Official Husker Locker Blog
2009 Nov 02
“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.”
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