Nebraska vs. Oklahoma, 9.18

Oklahoma's Pat Fields (10) returns a blocked extra point for two points in the second half as Nebraska head coach Scott Frost (left) looks on Saturday in Norman, Okla.

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Scott Frost addressed the media after the Huskers' 23-16 loss to Oklahoma.

Nebraska was wary of Oklahoma's ability to change a game with a big play.

The Sooners did it again Saturday in Norman, Oklahoma, but it wasn't the offense. No, it was OU's special teams with the steal-your-mojo play.

Nebraska got to within 14-9 on Adrian Martinez's short touchdown run late in the third quarter. Suddenly, the Huskers had the momentum.

Isaiah Coe and Pat Fields changed that. Coe pushed inside on NU's extra-point attempt and deflected the attempt, and it landed in the hands of Fields, who jetted 100 yards the other way for two points.

Instead of 14-10, Sooners, it was 16-9.

"Oh, man, when Pat took that to the house, that's what we needed," cornerback D.J. Graham said moments after Oklahoma's 23-16 victory. "That's the beauty of football. It can happen just like that."

The Sooners had some other key plays, offensively and defensively, in the victory. But the overall consensus after the game was that Fields' return proved to be the game-changer.

The crowd was hushed a bit after Nebraska charged 75 yards down the field in nine plays. Nebraska players were buzzing.

Nebraska thought about going for two, coach Scott Frost said afterward, but instead NU sent out freshman Kelen Meyer in place of Connor Culp, who was struggling on field goals.

But it didn't take Coe long to bulldoze through the line, and it didn't take Fields long to get the crowd back into it.

"I think it just goes to show what we've been emphasizing as a team, playing four-quarter football and always finishing," Fields said. "We got to go out and play every single play like it's our last.

"Unfortunately, we gave up a touchdown, but that's a big play, it's able to shift momentum, get the offense back rolling."

Indeed it did. Oklahoma's offense responded with a 12-play, 65-yard scoring drive to take a 23-9 lead with 10:24 remaining.

For a team that gets a lot of attention for it's offense, the Sooners put a big emphasis on special teams, too.

"I don't know how most teams in the country are, but we take that part of the game really seriously," OU linebacker Nik Bonitto said.

When the ball landed in Fields' hands, he knew it was his chance to turn on the burners. OU's assistant coaches track the speed of its players during games, and Fields wanted to leave a fast mark, he said.

"When I got the ball, I'm trying to go 23 miles per hour," the senior safety said.

He wasn't touched as a handful of Sooners ran with him to the other end of the field.

It was a little salt to the wound in this rivalry for a Husker team that continues to deal with its own issues on special teams.

"Some people think a little extra point, big deal," OU coach Lincoln Riley said. "How many teams do you see take that play off? All of the sudden we flip that. It was just a huge play.

"Kind of like what we tell our guys all of the time, you never know when those big ones are coming and you're mentally into every one and you're play every one like your last, you'll be ready to seize the moment."

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Reach Clark Grell at 402-473-2639 or cgrell@journalstar.com. On Twitter at @LJSSportsGrell.

This article originally ran on journalstar.com.

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