- Associated Press - Thursday, December 2, 2010

LINCOLN, NEB. (AP) - Nebraska’s defense better be ready to pick up the pace Saturday if it hopes to keep up with No. 10 Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game.

No offense in the country has run as many plays from scrimmage as the Sooners, not even that Oregon squad that moves so fast that opponents allegedly fake injuries to catch their breath.

“We pick our spots to go fast, pick our spots to slow up,” OU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said. “I don’t know if there’s really much rhyme or reason to it. Just looking at the flow of the game.”

Quarterback Landry Jones took a season-high 107 snaps in last week’s 47-41 win over Oklahoma State, the second time this season the Sooners had more than 100 offensive plays.

They average 88 a game, compared with 65 for 13th-ranked Nebraska, and are the only team with more than 1,000 for the season.

Eric Hagg, the Huskers’ hybrid safety-linebacker, said Oklahoma’s pace creates chaos.

“That’s one of the hardest things that faces a defense,” Hagg said, “because we’re looking at our coaches for a call, and if they hurry up, we have to hurry up. Sometimes we mess up when we don’t get a call right. Substitution is hard. It tires you out. It’s crazy.”

Nebraska’s fifth-ranked defense will be the best Oklahoma has faced. The Huskers’ secondary, led by Big 12 coaches’ defensive player of the year Prince Amukamara and Alfonzo Dennard, is perhaps the most physical in the college game.

“They’ve got four big hosses up front, and they’re sitting there with seven fast guys,” Wilson said. “They’re locking you up, matching you up, racking you up, switching off routes. They’re going to do what they do.”

Oklahoma State operates at a similar tempo as Oklahoma, and Nebraska initially had trouble keeping up against the Cowboys. The Huskers allowed OSU 343 yards in the first half of their October game but just 152 the rest of the way in a 51-41 win.

The Huskers, however, say Oklahoma has more weapons.

Jones has thrown for almost 4,000 yards and has passed for four or more touchdowns in four games.

Ryan Broyles leads the nation with nearly 10 catches a game, and he’s had fewer than eight receptions just once. Broyles has been held under 100 yards receiving only three times.

Dennard said Broyles is more dangerous than Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon, the national leader in receiving yards.

“He’s way different than Blackmon,” Dennard said. “Blackmon hurt us on the fade routes, jump balls. Broyles, you never know what he’s going to do. He can do slants, he can get behind you, he’s fast.”

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