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Oklahoma football: Why the Sooners' 35-20 victory at Iowa State was a feat of Clay

COMMENTARY — Before Saturday, Brennan Clay was one of the least productive running backs in Oklahoma history. Against Iowa State he was indispensable.
by Berry Tramel Published: November 3, 2012

/articleid/3725427/1/pictures/1874904">Photo - Oklahoma's Brennan Clay (24) runs pas Iowa State's David Irving (87) during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma (OU) and Iowa State University (ISU) at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. Oklahoma won 35-20. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma's Brennan Clay (24) runs pas Iowa State's David Irving (87) during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma (OU) and Iowa State University (ISU) at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. Oklahoma won 35-20. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Saturday, Clay had runs of 12, 12, 15, 13 and 18 yards, the latter for a touchdown.

“One of those deals, it's the next guy up,” Landry said. “We leaned on Brennan today, and he did an excellent job. Brennan's always been a guy that regardless of what happens, he's going to work hard.”

That's the thing about Clay. Great attitude. Smile on his face. Upbeat spirit.

Dom Whaley emerged from nowhere to be the tailback a year ago. Williams arrived from junior college this year and took over.

“That's part of the game,” Clay said. “Great backs come to this university.”

But sometimes, he also serves who stands and waits. Clay has been a decent kickoff returner, plays on third downs as a receiver out of the backfield and gets a few carries a game.

Then came Saturday.

Stoops termed it a “huge day” for Clay and “very satisfying … even for the other guys. He's a great team player. He's an example for all the players. When you get your opportunity, are you going to take advantage of it?”

Clay did.

“I've just been fortunate enough, being able to play my turn,” Clay said. “Damien, it was a sad situation he was out. But I was able to step up. They recruit us for that.”

So Saturday, when this still was a ballgame and the Sooners looked vulnerable in a stadium that has eaten a ranked team or two, Clay kept a half alive and went home with a game he'll remember forever.

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

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
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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