Photo Credit: John Peterson

Gray Facemasks, Injury Updates and More from Nebraska-Oklahoma Pregame

September 18, 2021

For the first time in more than a decade, Nebraska is back in Norman to face Oklahoma. The Huskers last visited Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in 2008, a 62-28 win for the Sooners in Bo Pelini’s first season at Nebraska.

The Huskers held as a three-touchdown underdog throughout the week. The weather forecast calls for warming temperatures after kickoff.

Here are a few pregame updates from Oklahoma:

–Tight end Travis Vokolek and defensive lineman Casey Rogers appeared ready to make their season debuts. Both were out with injury for Nebraska’s first three games, but were warming up in uniform prior to the game.

Vokolek made nine catches over eight games last season, totaling 91 yards receiving. His biggest impact, however, might be as an in-line blocker for a Husker run game that has struggled to get going outside of quarterback Adrian Martinez.

Rogers ranked second among Nebraska’s defensive linemen last season with three tackles for loss, totaling 19 yards.

–The 1971 “Game of Century” was played in November, but 50 years on the anniversary of that game was omnipresent in and around the stadium on Saturday. The 50-yard markers on the field were painted crimson in honor of the anniversary.

–In another nod to the past, Nebraska came out on the field with gray facemasks. The Huskers wore them last week against Buffalo as part of the commemorative 9/11 alternate uniforms, but gray was another callback to OU-NU matchups of yore.

Nebraska Cornhuskers running back Gabe Ervin #22 tries to run away from Illinois Fighting Illini defensive back Sydney Brown #30 during their game against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium Saturday, Aug. 28th, 2021, in Champaign, IL. Photos by Eric Francis

Nebraska first wore red facemasks for the 1982 Orange Bowl, a loss to Clemson. By the 1982 seasons, it was Nebraska’s regular look.

The Huskers also had white stripes on their pants, a departure from plain red pants during most of the Scott Frost era.

–Wide receiver Zavier Betts was fielding punts pregame with the returners, notable on two fronts. One, Betts went down with an injury against Buffalo.

Two, he has been the Huskers’ preferred kick returner through three games, but as struggles have been a persistent part of punt return it looked like Betts might get a shot in that phase of the game as well.

Wide receiver Omar Manning was also taking part in pregame warmups after missing the Buffalo game.

–Oliver Martin will not be available for Nebraska against Oklahoma.

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