OSU football notebook: RB Kye Staley stands out in new role

BY JOHN HELSLEY, Staff Writer, jhelsley@opubco.com Published: September 6, 2011

The debut of Joseph Randle as the Cowboys new feature back went well, with the sophomore back rushing for 129 yards and two touchdowns.

Kye Staley, while he didn't carry the ball, shares in Randle's success, after clearing holes on several of Randle's big runs.

“It was impressive,” said Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden. “I've watched the game three times now, and one thing that stands out is how hard Kye played. There's several plays where he chopped a guy, or led the block and created a hole for Jeremy (Smith) and Joseph that put them 10 or 12 yards farther up the field.”

It's a different role for Staley, who arrived at OSU as a prized tailback recruit, only to have a severe knee injury cloud his future.

Back from that adversity, Staley has reinvented himself and his career.

“Kye has really embraced the role of playing fullback,” said offensive coordinator Todd Monken. “You can just see it in him, something had been taken away from him that he never thought he'd play again. Now to be able to come back and not only play, but contribute, you can just see his energy level on the field, his excitement.

“That's fun to see. He's a good guy to be around our team. He's a leader.”

WILDCATS BATTLING INJURY, ILLNESS

Since the last time OSU saw Arizona, in the December Alamo Bowl, things have not gone smoothly for the Wildcats, despite a season-opening win over Northern Arizona.

Major knee injuries have already claimed three projected defensive starters: safety Adam Hall, cornerback Jonathan McKnight and linebacker Jake Fischer.

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