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OU's depth makes it hard for Roy Finch to crack lineup

BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Modified: September 22, 2011 at 5:36 pm •  Published: September 22, 2011

NORMAN — After being asked if the tight ends will be more involved in the offense this week and why running back Roy Finch isn't playing much, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops quipped, “I thought we won last week.”

The top-ranked Sooners have looked sharp the first two games, wins over Tulsa and Florida State.

The majority of carries have gone to Dominique Whaley and Brennan Clay. Both running backs have played well.

Still, it is puzzling Finch didn't have any touches against Florida State.

Zero carries. Zero receptions.

As OU's second-leading rusher last season and the Sooners' leading returning rusher, the lightening quick, slippery sophomore barely stepped on the field in Tallahassee.

“Those other guys are doing it better right now,” Stoops said. “Wouldn't that be the logical answer for every position? The guy that is playing is usually doing the best. It's the only way I know how to win. If we don't win, I get fired.”

Stoops reiterated that Clay and Whaley have performed consistently in pass protection, ball security and running through the spring, summer and fall.

He also stressed that Finch remains part of OU's offensive game plan.

“It's just kind of how it's worked out,” Stoops said. “These other guys have done really well. We will get Roy in more and more as we go.”

Because of Finch's size — 5-foot-7, 165 pounds — he will alternate between running back and slot receiver. But two games into the season, the Niceville, Fla., product has only five carries.

“He has a bright future here,” said offensive coordinator Josh Heupel. “That (Florida State) game took a life unto its own a little bit. At the same time, those other guys have played at a high level.”

Despite missing six games last season, including the first five with a hairline ankle fracture, Finch rushed for 398 yards, averaging 4.9 yards a carry. Fans fell in love with his quick, darting running style.

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