NORMAN â€” Oklahoma expects to get back its leading rusher for the Big 12 Championship.
The Cornhuskers may have to wait to see if they'll have one of theirs.
Sooner coach Bob Stoops said following Monday's practice he has a â€œpositive outlookâ€ that running back DeMarco Murray will be able to play Saturday, despite suffering a knee injury that sidelined him during most of the fourth quarter at Oklahoma State.
â€œDeMarco is much improved from (Sunday),â€ Stoops said. â€œWe'll see as the week goes. I don't want to say something until it's for sure.
â€œBut it's looking positive right now.â€
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini, meanwhile, may not know until later in the week if Taylor Martinez will be healthy enough to also play. The dual-threat quarterback missed the entire Colorado game last week due to a turf toe injury on his left foot. Martinez has also been dealing with a sprained right ankle the last few weeks of the season.
â€œIt's a day-to-day thing,â€ Pelini said.
Martinez took some snaps in Monday's practice, but was limited.
Sophomore Cody Green, primarily a pocket passer, started in Martinez's place against the Buffaloes and played well, completing 10 of 13 passes for 80 yards while totaling three touchdowns. Pelini hinted Monday that it's possible both could play against the Sooners.
â€œWe'll play the guy that we feel is going to give us the best chance to win the game,â€ Pelini said. â€œIt might be a combination of the two.â€
Regardless, the Sooners say they're preparing for Martinez, who is still eighth in the Big 12 with 974 rushing yards despite missing two games, even if his mobility remains limited by the ankle and toe injuries.
â€œWe're preparing for Martinez,â€ said OU linebacker Travis Lewis. â€œ They both can throw the ball, but you need to prepare against a running quarterback like Martinez.
â€œA running quarterback adds another weapon to an offense, so that's who we're preparing for.â€
PAUL'S STATUS UNCLEAR; JONATHAN NELSON RETURNS TO PRACTICE
The knee injury to Oklahoma running DeMarco Murray and the Huskers' questions at quarterback may not be the only reasons why Las Vegas didn't release a point spread for the Big 12 Championship.
The status of Niles Paul, Nebraska's top receiver and a dynamic kick returner, is up in the air. Paul broke his foot last week and missed the Colorado game. But Monday morning on Twitter, Paul didn't rule himself out of the Big 12 title game, writing: â€œJust got a CT scan for my foot... Hopefully things are good because I really want to get back for the Big12 Championship game or Bowl game.â€
The Sooners, meanwhile, got starting safety Jonathan Nelson back Monday. Nelson was knocked out of the Bedlam game after falling hard while tacking Joseph Randle on the first play of OSU's second series. He was replaced the rest of the night by Javon Harris.
â€œJonathan practiced,â€ coach Bob Stoops said. â€œEverything appeared to look good.â€