NORMAN — When they arrived on Oklahoma’s campus four years ago, Chris Brown and DeMarco Murray didn’t know what to make of one another.
From running style to personality, the two couldn’t have been more different.
Brown was Bayou rugged and tough; Murray was full of Las Vegas finesse and flash.
"When we first got here, we didn’t talk to each other,” Murray recalled. "We were totally different; different backgrounds, different personalities. We didn’t hang out together.
"But we grew on each other, and now we know each other like the back of our hands.”
The Sun Bowl on New Year’s Eve will be the swan song for the running back tandem, which should go down as one of the best in school and conference history.
While both enrolled at OU in 2006, Murray redshirted because of a toe injury his freshman year and still has a year of eligibility remaining. Brown does not.
"I think running out together for the last time, the emotions will hit me,” Brown said. "Man, the career that we’ve had with each other here, I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
The two have had quite the careers as a pair. Brown has rushed for 2,877 yards and 45 touchdowns. Murray has run for 2,444 yards and totaled 44 scores.
Not once along the way has either complained about losing carries and yards to the other.
"It’s not about competition for us,” Murray said. "It hasn’t been for awhile. I think that’s definitely helped us. We give each other the confidence to go out there and do our thing.”
Last year, that confidence manifested into a season to remember. Brown and Murray both rushed for more than 1,000 yards as OU became the first offense in college football history to produce a 4,000-yard passer, a 1,000-yard receiver and a pair of 1,000-yard rushers.
Though they haven’t had the same caliber season this year — due largely to injuries on the offensive line — Brown and Murray have still combined for more than 1,400 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns.