Nov. 11, 1978
Sooner Magic? This was more like Sooner Tragic.
Undefeated and top-ranked Oklahoma was driving for the winning touchdown on a bitterly cold November day at Memorial Stadium when Nebraska safety Jeff Hansen jarred the ball loose from OU running back Billy Sims. Nebraska linebacker Jim Pillen recovered inside the NU 5-yard line, and the Huskers ran out the final 3½ minutes for a 17-14 victory — Tom Osborne’s first victory against Oklahoma in six tries.
Sims, who had run for more than 200 yards in each of his previous three games, also lost a fumble deep in Nebraska territory on the Sooners’ previous possession. For the game, Oklahoma fumbled nine times, losing six. Billy Todd’s 24-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter — the Huskers’ first fourth-quarter points against OU since the 1971 Game of the Century — broke a 14-14 tie.
Of course, Oklahoma would get its revenge. Nebraska was upset at home the following week by Missouri, and was pitted in a rematch with co-Big Eight champion Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl. The Sooners won 31-24.
Sims? Yeah, he won the Heisman Trophy.
— Brian Rosenthal