The University of Oklahoma's 2021 non-conference football schedule was finalized Monday with the announcement that the Sooners will face Western Carolina on Sept. 11 in Norman. OU will open the season Sept. 4 at Tulane and will host former intraconference juggernaut Nebraska on Sept. 18.
Oklahoma's three-game non-league schedule will commence in New Orleans when it takes on the Green Wave, which finished 6-6 in 2020 and participated in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. The contest, to be played at 30,000-seat Yulman Stadium on Tulane's campus, will mark OU's ninth game in the state of Louisiana. The other eight were Sugar Bowl contests in New Orleans (OU won six of them).
The Sooners won their only meeting with Tulane, a 56-14 home decision on Sept. 16, 2017, as the AP's No. 2-ranked team. The programs are slated to finish their three-game series in Norman in 2024.
The Sept. 11 home opener against Western Carolina will mark the first meeting between the programs. The Catamounts played three games this past fall, losing at No. 22 Liberty and at Eastern Kentucky in November and falling at No. 17 North Carolina in early December.
Western Carolina is scheduled to play eight Southern Conference games this spring, starting Feb. 20.
OU will close its non-conference schedule by renewing one of college football's most storied rivalries when it welcomes Nebraska to Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Sept. 18.
Former conference brethren, the Sooners (50) and Cornhuskers (46) rank first and second nationally in league championships. Oklahoma or Nebraska (or both) won or shared Big Seven/Big Eight titles in 44 of the conferences' 48 years (1948-95) and combined for nine Big 12 championships (seven by OU) before Nebraska departed the league in 2011.
This year's Oklahoma-Nebraska matchup occurs on the 50-year anniversary of the "Game of the Century" that saw the No. 1-ranked Cornhuskers edge the No. 2 Sooners 35-31 on Nov. 25, 1971. The Thanksgiving Day game in Norman attracted a then-record 55-million-plus television viewers and featured 17 of the 22 first-team All-Big Eight selections that season (nine from NU and eight from OU).
The programs haven't met since 2010 when OU registered a 23-20 win in the 2010 Big 12 Championship Game in Arlington, Texas. The Sooners hold a 45-38-3 series lead against the Huskers.
The 2021 Big 12 football schedule will be announced in the coming months.