OU football notebook: Sooner running back Roy Finch dazzles in debut

by Michael Baldwin Modified: October 17, 2010 at 6:56 am •  Published: October 16, 2010

Roy Finch displayed the quickness and shiftiness that OU coaches talked about before the freshman running back suffered a hairline ankle fracture during fall camp. In his OU debut, Finch rushed for 92 yards on 16 carries.

"That guy makes cuts that I've never seen," said teammate Travis Lewis. "DeMarco (Murray) is a great back, an all-around back. But (Finch) makes some cuts. He made one cut in two-a-days that broke my ankles. That's when I knew this guy has some wiggle to him."

Finch had four runs of 13 or more yards.

"We thought he could give us a little juice, some play-making ability," said offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson. "We have some young guys we want to play. Sometimes we have to play through some hiccups and growing pains. It was nice to get Roy going."


When the first BCS rankings are released today, the Sooners could be ranked No. 2 or 3 which is fine with Lewis, who doesn't want the Sooners to be on top.

"Put somebody else up there," Lewis said. "We haven't deserved it, yet. We're too up and down. We put two good weeks together. But I don't think it's enough. Put Boise, put someone else up there. We have a lot to prove. We have to earn that spot."


Quarterback Landry Jones completed 88.2 percent of his passes to establish an OU single-game record for quarterbacks with 25 or more attempts.

Jones was 30-of-34 for 334 yards and three touchdowns. The previous record was Jason White completing 82.9 percent (29-of-35).

"He's a guy you guys (in the media) say is not as good as Sam (Bradford)," quipped Wilson. "I'm asked, 'What's wrong with your quarterback?'

"He's playing well but the surrounding parts are better. He's more comfortable. He's more at ease. He's playing with less stress. Last year I think there was a lot of stress with communication."

Jones was 25-of-27 in the first half. His only two incompletions were a tight throw to Trey Franks that was broken up and a long incompletion to Ryan Broyles, a similar route they hooked up on three plays later for a 39-yard touchdown.

"It's fun to have games like that where everything you seem to throw seems to fall into the receivers' hands," Jones said. "It was a great night, a fun night. I'm proud of our offense."


Early last week Lewis said he wanted the defense to make a statement by posting a shutout against Iowa State.

"We needed one of those as much scrutiny as the defense has been under all season," Lewis said.

Led by Lewis' team-high 14 tackles, the Sooners limited Iowa State to 183 total yards and 10 first downs. More than half of ISU's production came on broken plays when quarterbacks Austen Arnaud and Jerome Tiller scrambled away from pressure.

"If you give us two weeks to get healthy and prepare against any team we're going to be a tough team to play," Lewis said. "Everybody got in the film room. We had two good weeks of practices. We went out there and showed it."


With Saturday's win Bob Stoops moved into third in career wins at OU.

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by Michael Baldwin
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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