The Nebraska Cornhuskers have committed to play at the Oklahoma Sooners in 2021 following a search for a possible eighth home game, Nebraska Director of Athletics Bill Moos announced Friday afternoon.
Earlier on Friday, Brett McMurphy of Stadium broke the news that the Nebraska Cornhuskers had contacted other schools to play on Sept. 18, 2021 instead of Oklahoma in Norman. Schools contacted as potential replacements included the Old Dominion Monarchs and teams from the Mid-American Conference (MAC), per the report.
Following the report that Nebraska was searching for a replacement opponent, Oklahoma Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione issued a statement.
“The Oklahoma-Nebraska football series represents one of the most unique traditional rivalries in college football,” Castiglione said. “It features fierce competition, yet genuine mutual respect between the programs and fan bases. The planning for this game was intentional as we mark the 50th anniversary of the Game of the Century. We’ve been looking forward to celebrating these two storied programs and have collaborated on various aspects of what promises to be a special weekend. We fully intend and expect to play the game as it is scheduled.”
Just a few hours later on Friday afternoon, Nebraska confirmed that they had searched for an eighth home game, but that they would still travel to take on the Sooners.
“The University of Nebraska is looking forward to playing Oklahoma in Norman on September 18th,” Nebraska Director of Athletics Bill Moos said. “Due to the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to Husker athletics and the local community, our administration did explore the possibility of adding an eighth home game this fall. That option would have helped us mitigate cost-cutting measures and provide a much-needed boost to our local economy. Ultimately, the decision was made to move forward with our game at Oklahoma in 2021. We have the utmost respect for the University of Oklahoma, and this storied rivalry, and I know our fans have been excited about this series for a long time. Go Big Red!”
The 2021 Nebraska at Oklahoma football game is the first of a four-game home-and-home series, agreed to back in 2012, that continues in Lincoln, Neb., on Sept. 17, 2022. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1971 Nebraska-Oklahoma “Game of the Century.” In that contest, the Cornhuskers scored a late touchdown to defeat the Sooners in Norman, 35-31.
Nebraska and Oklahoma are also scheduled to play in Norman on Sept. 15, 2029 and in Lincoln on Sept. 14, 2030.