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Opposites attracted for Oklahoma at running back

By JAKE TROTTER, STAFF WRITER, JTROTTER@OPUBCO.COM Modified: December 25, 2009 at 7:55 pm •  Published: December 25, 2009

photo - Oklahoma running backs Demarco Murray, left, and Chris Brown. Oklahoman Photos
Oklahoma running backs Demarco Murray, left, and Chris Brown. Oklahoman Photos

/> "It’s been really neat to see the two of them palling around together, not just the friendship they have, but how they work together, push each other,” coach Bob Stoops said. "They are genuinely excited to see the other do well.

"And I think it’s fair to say that between the two of them, they have complemented each other really well.”

They’ve also helped one another develop into more complete backs.

During the earlier part of his career, Brown was known by fans and media as "First Down Chris Brown,” whose specialty was churning out first downs in short-yardage situations. Murray was the team’s home-run threat, capable of generating a big play any time he touched the ball.

"Before last season, DeMarco was like, ‘Man, I like the way you run through the middle. ... I’m going to try run that way.’” Brown said. "I was the same way. I was like, ‘when you get outside, you cut so fast. ... I want to be able to do that.’”

So during the off-season, Brown worked with Murray on how to become a better power runner; and Murray helped Brown get a feel for how to cut into big plays.

And over the last two seasons, Brown has broken through for numerous 20-yard-plus runs, while Murray has been a load for opposing defenders to bring down between the tackles.

"When we first got here, we weren’t friends — you know when everyone gets here freshman year, everyone is looking at each other, sizing each other up,” Brown said. "But as time went along, we gelled so good.

"I had a vision of things happening like this.”

Said Murray, "At the team banquet, he was up there with the seniors, that’s when it hit me. We’re always together. We work out together, we push each other. It’s going to be tough with him not being here.”