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Bob Stoops cautiously optimistic on DeMarco Murray return for Big 12 Championship

Oklahoma leading rusher DeMarco Murray suffered a knee injury in the Sooners' win over Oklahoma State, but coach Bob Stoops said Monday that things were “looking positive” for Murray. Nebraska, meanwhile, may be without quarterback Taylor Martinez.
By Jake Trotter, Staff Writer, Modified: November 29, 2010 at 7:57 pm •  Published: November 29, 2010

Oklahoma expects to get back its leading rusher for the Big 12 Championship.

The Cornhuskers may have to wait to see if they'll have one of theirs.

Sooner coach Bob Stoops said following Monday's practice he has a “positive outlook” that running back DeMarco Murray will be able to play Saturday, despite suffering a knee injury that sidelined him during most of the fourth quarter at Oklahoma State.

“DeMarco is much improved from (Sunday),” Stoops said. “We'll see as the week goes. I don't want to say something until it's for sure.

“But it's looking positive right now.”

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini, meanwhile, may not know until later in the week if Taylor Martinez will be healthy enough to also play. The dual-threat quarterback missed the entire Colorado game last week due to a turf toe injury on his left foot. Martinez has also been dealing with a sprained right ankle the last few weeks of the season.

“It's a day-to-day thing,” Pelini said.

Martinez took some snaps in Monday's practice, but was limited.

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The knee injury to Oklahoma running DeMarco Murray and the Huskers' questions at quarterback may not be the only reasons why Las Vegas didn't release a point spread for the Big 12 Championship.

The status of Niles Paul, Nebraska's top receiver and a dynamic kick returner, is up in the air. Paul broke his foot last week and missed the Colorado game. But Monday morning on Twitter, Paul didn't rule himself out of the Big 12 title game, writing: “Just got a CT scan for my foot... Hopefully things are good because I really want to get back for the Big12 Championship game or Bowl game.”

The Sooners, meanwhile, got starting safety Jonathan Nelson back Monday. Nelson was knocked out of the Bedlam game after falling hard while tacking Joseph Randle on the first play of OSU's second series. He was replaced the rest of the night by Javon Harris.

“Jonathan practiced,” coach Bob Stoops said. “Everything appeared to look good.”


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