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Berry Tramel: The numbers say DeMarco Murray ranks among OU's elite running backs

by Berry Tramel Modified: August 23, 2010 at 9:36 am •  Published: August 22, 2010

/articleid/3487731/1/pictures/1105710">Photo - DeMarco Murray's statistics are similar to Billy Sims' in his first four years. PHOTO BY BRYAN TERRY, THE OKLAHOMAN
DeMarco Murray's statistics are similar to Billy Sims' in his first four years. PHOTO BY BRYAN TERRY, THE OKLAHOMAN

"I never thought I would be here five years. I'm taking it with full gratitude. I love it here. I love playing in front of these fans."

The idea that Murray could join the pantheon of Sims/Washington/Peterson/Owens seems a little silly. Murray has started only 18 of 36 career games. Never led OU in carries in a season.

But that figures to change. Before August camp opened, Stoops said he hopes to get the ball to Murray "similar to a guy like Adrian Peterson."

Peterson carried 339 times as a freshman and 220 times as a sophomore. Give Murray 220 carries in 2010, and he'll almost surely fall short of 4,000 yards. Give Murray 339 carries, and he'll almost surely break Sims' record.

"I don't think there'll be as much substituting as the last two, three years," Murray said. "They're going to give me the ball as many times as I can handle it."

The Sooner receiving corps was shaky in 2009 and, according to Stoops, remains so. That could mean OU tries to run the ball more.

If Murray plays 14 games, he'll need to average 117 yards per game to catch Sims. In 13 games, 127 yards.

Murray has averaged 5.2 yards per carry in his career. At that pace, Murray will need 317 carries to pass Sims.

DeMarco Murray is not Billy Sims. No one else in Sooner history has been, either. But if Murray climbs up the charts and approaches that 4,000-yard club, it's a testimony to perseverance.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at

Berry Tramel's Blog
by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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