OU football: OU's success rate will depend on its deep stable of running backs

Brennan Clay, Damien Williams, Trey Millard, Roy Finch and Keith Ford will all play in the role.
by Jason Kersey Published: October 13, 2013

DALLAS — Oklahoma dropped its first game of the season Saturday to Texas in the Cotton Bowl, but in an unpredictable, wide-open Big 12 Conference, the Sooners still have plenty to play for with six regular-season games to go.

The Longhorns exposed major problems, though, and if we've learned nothing else about this Oklahoma team to this point, we do know this: The Sooners' success or failure moving forward will depend largely on their deep stable of running backs.

So what does Oklahoma really have in its backfield?

* It has senior Brennan Clay, a reliable, generally productive player who has shown — at times — the ability to carry the load in the OU backfield. But he was oddly absent from the Sooners' game plan Saturday, carrying the ball just five times for 26 yards. He also dropped a sure touchdown pass on Oklahoma's first drive of the game.

* The Sooners have senior Damien Williams, who was OU's best running back a year ago but hasn't produced the same way in 2013. He also might not be dependable enough to be the team's main runner, as evidenced by his one-game suspension earlier this season.

* Fans have begged for senior fullback Trey Millard to get more carries since he was a freshman. Saturday, he carried the ball seven times for 32 yards and a touchdown and caught a 29-yard pass, but he's also an incredibly valuable blocker. He also might've given everyone a glimpse of why he doesn't get many touches. On many of his carries, he seemed to take too long to cut upfield, running east and west rather than north and south.

* Roy Finch can be a dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands, but is the 5-foot-7 senior capable of handling 15 or more carries per game?

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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