OU vs. NU Pregame: Breaking it Down

Sooners Illustrated digs deeper into this weekend's big contest between No. 9 and No. 13 Nebraska

The Matchup:

It's a Big 12 Championship that most people not only around the conference but the rest of the nation wanted at the beginning of the year. With Nebraska bolting to the Big Ten and OU-Nebraska not scheduled for this season, the only way the two could play was in the conference title game, and that's exactly what's happening. The Sooners have surged into the title game, winning two straight road games and three contests overall, and NU defeated Colorado in its final regular season matchup to make it to Arlington. Nebraska brings a pesky defense in to face OU's prolific offense.

OU players to watch:

1. RB DeMarco Murray--Question marks surround the status of Murray, after he was banged up in the season finale at Oklahoma State. But if he's healthy and is able to have another solid game, the ‘Huskers are in for a long evening.

2. LB Travis Lewis--In championship games, players always look to those that have been there before, and Lewis has. He must possess both leadership and containment at the weak side linebacker position, especially if Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez plays. The ‘Husker signal caller will be looking to run, so Lewis and the rest of the linebacking corps must stay at home.

OU will win if: It can move the ball downfield on the ‘Husker defense with any consistency. Nebraska doesn't have much of a chance of keeping up with the Sooners in a score fest, so if OU can put some points up on the board early and often because its gets in a flow offensively, it'll have a great chance to win.

NU players to watch:

1. QB Taylor Martinez--Apparently it's going to be a game time decision who quarterbacks the ‘Huskers. But Martinez would be the most dangerous guy for the Sooner defense to handle because of his mobility. OU has struggled with those types of quarterbacks in recent memory, it should hope for Zac Lee or Cody Green and not Martinez.

2. CB Prince Amukamara--He's not the Coaches' All-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year by accident. Amukamara's a player in the secondary for NU and has the ability to really impact just how good of a game slot receiver Ryan Broyles and the rest of the receiving group has for OU. His performance will be key.

NU will win if:It establishes defensive tempo early and often. As mentioned, if the OU offense gets rolling, look out. On the other hand, if the ‘Huskers can create a couple turnovers in the first half and limit the Sooners' offensive production, it will be a different story.

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