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Oklahoma football: 2014 Sooner running backs are the least-experienced of the Bob Stoops era

by Jason Kersey Published: August 17, 2014

NORMAN — Oklahoma freshman running back Joe Mixon is expected to appear for arraignment Monday on a misdemeanor charge stemming from his role in last month’s alteration with a female OU student near campus.

Mixon’s status with the team — and the university — remains up in the air at this point, but even if the five-star prospect attends classes this semester, it doesn’t seem likely he’ll play any football for Oklahoma in 2014.

The Sooners’ running back situation was already unclear before charges were filed. Sophomores Keith Ford and Alex Ross are carrying a combined 26 carries and 153 yards into the 2014 season — the least amount of running back experience entering any of Bob Stoops’ 16 years as coach.

Until now, the Stoops team with the least amount of running back experience was his first. De’Mond Parker left Oklahoma after his junior year to enter the 1999 NFL Draft, leaving Stoops without any seasoned, veteran running backs for his inaugural campaign in Norman.

At least that year, though, Stoops returned fullback Seth Littrell, who rushed for 205 yards as a freshman in 1998. The 2014 Sooners are even breaking in a new fullback in freshman Dimitri Flowers.

Seniors Michael Thornton and Reggie Skinner — who entered the 1999 season with a combined 39 rushes for 129 yards for their OU careers — were the top two options in the OU backfield until both were injured by the eighth game, when Stoops was forced to burn true freshman Quentin Griffin’s redshirt status.

Griffin finished with 371 yards rushing in five games, and went on to become one of the best players of the Stoops era. His 3,938 career rushing yards rank fifth in OU history, behind only Billy Sims, Joe Washington, Adrian Peterson and Steve Owens.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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