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Nebraska-Oklahoma pregame observations: Could NU be closer to full strength vs. OU?

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Parker Gabriel and Steven M. Sipple give three keys for Nebraska against Oklahoma on Saturday.

NORMAN, Okla. — Nebraska and Oklahoma are set to kick off at 11 a.m. here at Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium. 

Here are a few pregame observations: 

* Defensive lineman Casey Rogers (left knee) is in uniform for early warmups for the Huskers. He's missed the first three games of the season and was out before the rest of the defensive linemen doing some running on the field. 

He worked out before last week's home game against Buffalo but was not in uniform then like he was this morning. 

* At least four of the five Nebraska skill players who were out with injuries by the time NU's win over Buffalo wrapped up are on the trip to OU. 

Wide receivers Omar Manning and Zavier Betts and tight ends Austin Allen and Travis Vokolek are all part of Nebraska's roughly 85-man travel roster. 

All four were going through early warmups on the field as the Huskers get prepared to take on the Sooners, a good sign for the availability of each, but not a guarantee. 

Allen (head) and Vokolek (left ankle/foot) playing would give Nebraska its two top tight ends playing together for the first time this season. Vokolek (6-6, 260) missed the first three games after getting hurt during preseason camp. Allen (6-9, 255) hit the ground hard on his only catch in the first half against UB last week. '

Junior wide receiver Oliver Martin (left knee), however, was not seen in early warmups. 

* In warmups, Trent Hixson took the No. 1 reps at left guard over Ethan Piper. Piper, a redshirt freshman, has started the first three games of the season and was the regular starter by the end of the 2020 season. Hixson started 12 games for Nebraska at left guard in 2019. 

* Redshirt freshman defensive back Noa Pola-Gates was going through early warmups after not playing last week against UB. 

* Junior guard Broc Bando is on the trip but does not appear to be in position to play. He has missed time recently with a non-COVID illness. 

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.

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