NORMAN — Oklahoma’s running back situation took a big hit Monday with the announcement that five-star freshman Joe Mixon has been suspended for the year while he fights a misdemeanor assault charge.
The Sooners return the least backfield experience in the 16-year Bob Stoops era, but there is reason to be optimistic. Sophomore Keith Ford showed tremendous potential last season in limited action, although his chronic fumbling was a problem.
Former Jenks star Alex Ross is also a candidate to be Oklahoma’s top back. Coaches and teammates have praised his work ethic throughout strength coach Jerry Schmidt’s brutal summer regimen.
Here’s a look at the Sooners’ depth chart for running backs and fullbacks entering the 2014 season. OU opens its season at home Aug. 30 against Louisiana Tech.
Ford carried the ball 23 times for 134 yards and a touchdown last season, but can he get his fumbling problem under control? If so, he’s the favorite to be the starter.
Ross received a personal foul after his first career carry in last year’s season opener and only got two more touches the rest of the season. Has he matured enough to earn a heavy load in 2014?
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