Oklahoma football: Roy Finch knows you wonder why he doesn't play more

Roy Finch can't escape the “why didn't you play?” questions. But the Sooner running back says he's grown during his time in college, and he's staying positive despite his sometimes limited role.
by Ryan Aber Published: November 15, 2013

— Roy Finch can't escape it.

He hears it at games. He sees it on Twitter. He even gets asked about it in class.

“I know it's out there,” Finch said. “People tell me. Even in class, people grab me, tap me on the shoulder, ‘Roy, why didn't you play?' I'm like, I don't know, I'm trying to focus on the lecture.”

When the elusive 5-foot-7 running back from Niceville, Fla., debuted six games into his freshman season against Iowa State, plenty of Oklahoma fans saw visions of a former Sooner star.

Even Oklahoma's coaches had those visions.

“In two-a-days early, I said, ‘Man, that's Quentin Griffin,” then-offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said before Finch's debut. “The response from (assistants Cale Gundy and Josh Heupel) was, ‘That's Quentin Griffin, but faster.'”

Those visions have become largely unfulfilled.

After rushing for a combined 1,003 yards and 196 carries his first two seasons, Finch has carried the ball just 49 times for 343 yards since.

Going into Saturday's home finale against the Cyclones, Finch won't say what's limited his opportunities the past two seasons, even as he's averaged seven yards per carry.

“If you all want to interview my coaches, I practice hard,” Finch said. “You can ask my coaches, my teammates as well, ‘How're Roy's practice habits?' I'm one of the hardest practice players on this team. I go hard.”

Gundy, the Sooners running back coach, has not been made available for interviews this season.

“We play everybody like the way we feel they need to be played,” Bob Stoops said when asked about Finch. “My assistant coaches make those decisions depending on how they practice and everything else they've done through the week.”

Stoops said he was pleased with their evaluations.

Late in his sophomore season, Finch had a three-game stretch — against Texas A&M, Baylor and Iowa State — where he carried a combined 58 times for 277 yards.

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by Ryan Aber
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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