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Running back Roy Finch is Sooners' little giant

OU FOOTBALL — He may only be 5-foot-7, but Roy Finch is having a big impact for the Sooners since Dom Whaley went down with an ankle injury.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: November 23, 2011 at 9:00 pm •  Published: November 23, 2011

/articleid/3626239/1/pictures/1571382">Photo - Oklahoma's Roy Finch Ball State's Andre Dawson (28) during the college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Ball State Cardinals at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 01, 2011, in Norman, Okla. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman  ORG XMIT: KOD
Oklahoma's Roy Finch Ball State's Andre Dawson (28) during the college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Ball State Cardinals at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 01, 2011, in Norman, Okla. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD

For a guy of Finch's size, it sure is. He isn't going to bulldoze a defender. He isn't going to survive that first contact by brute force or sheer might. So, as Finch explains it, he has to beat the defender to the point of attack, getting the would-be-tackler on his toes before he can get his hips under him.

“I try to do that ... because I am a small guy,” Finch said. “Taking punishment throughout a game is not really my style, but if I have to take a couple hits, I feel like I'll be pretty good at that.”

Finch will take hits, but he doesn't necessarily seek them out.

That was evident during back-to-back plays last week against Baylor. Early in the third quarter, Finch caught a short Landry Jones pass, made a nice run up the right sideline, then absolutely smashed helmet-to-helmet into safety K.J. Morton. The next snap, Finch ran the ball to the left for a big 13-yard gain, but as defenders converged, he stepped out of bounds before the contact came.

Could he have gotten another yard or two?

Sure.

Does someone who is 5-7 have to be mindful of self-preservation sometimes?

Absolutely.

Make no mistake — Finch is one tough dude. If he wasn't, he would've left football long ago. He would've found a sport where there aren't any guys chasing you who are a foot taller and 100 pounds heavier.

“You've got 6-3, 6-5 linebackers coming at you trying to take your head off,” Sooner running back Brandon Williams said. “So you've got to have that it about you — ‘I'm the best and ain't nobody going to take me down.' You've got to have a little more attitude than a bigger guy.”

Does Finch?

“Yeah,” Williams said, “he does.”

No wonder the Sooners have dubbed him “Mighty Mouse.”

“I take that name as a compliment,” Finch said.

As well he should.

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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