The third started at the 1.
An incompletion and a running play for no gain made it third-and-10. And the Husker-dominated crowd sensed something special.
But it was the Sooners who delivered, as Thompson hit Gresham, who faked a block and broke free, taking Thompson's toss to the 36.
"That was huge," said Nebraska defensive end Jay Moore. "We had them right there.
"That changed the whole momentum we had in the second half."
Said Thompson: "We weren't really moving the ball well, getting anything rolling. Jermaine ran a good corner route. I laid it out there for him, and it got things rolling."
And just like that, energy shifted.
Thompson hit Juaquin Iglesias for 22 yards and Kelly for 9. Then he was connecting with freshman Adron Tennell for 15 yards on another completion. And then Kelly for 11 more to the 5.
And on another third down, this time from the 3, he lobbed a ball that Kelly rose high over Cortney Grixby to grab, getting down with a foot in bounds for the score.
"Jermaine sparked it," Thompson said. "Jermaine got open on the power package. We just took whatever the defense gives us. That's every week."
Neither defense gave much in the running game, erasing an anticipated clash or rugged rushing offenses.
Instead, the two teams combined for 85 passes.
OU scored quick, 48 seconds in, after recovering a fumble, with Allen Patrick scoring from the 2 on the next play. Thompson hit Kelly on a 66-yard scoring strike later in the first quarter and the Sooners led 14-0.
From there, however, OU's offense struggled.
Until the drive.
Nebraska quarterback Zac Taylor, a former Norman High star, completed 23-of-50 for 282 yards and a touchdown.
But the Sooners picked produced three interceptions of Taylor, who had thrown but four all season.
"We just couldn't answer when we had to answer," Nebraska coach Bill Callahan said.