Sooners Carry on Without DeMarco Murray

MIAMI -- The Oklahoma Sooners are playing in the BCS Title Game without running back DeMarco Murray. Now normally an offense would be in trouble without a man who ran for more than 1,000 yards (1,002) and 14 touchdowns and added another 395 and four touchdowns as a receiver.

But the Sooners feel they can handle it thanks to the presence of junior Chris Brown. While Murray is flashier and makes the highlight reel plays, Brown is a workmanlike back who actually leads his team in rushing yards (1,110) and touchdowns (20). While he's not as much of a receiver as Murray is with just 72 yards catching passes, Brown is a solid tackle-to-tackle runner who is ore than good enough to keep the Gators honest.

I had a chance to speak with the Oklahoma runner, along with assorted on other guys (and gals) aka: MG.

MG: How did you guys go about splitting playing time?

CB: I think if you look at our stats you'll see we had almost the same amount of carries (Brown has edge 195 to 179) and stuff like that. We just basically alternated all season. Whenever he needed a rest I'd go in or in certain situations the coaches might make a change, but it balanced itself out.

MG: With him out how does that change things?

CB: With DeMarco out we miss a lot. He plays on special teams and does a great job with kickoff returns (774 yards, 27.6 avg.). He also does great things coming out of the backfield like catching the ball from the slot. Everybody knows we'll miss him. He's the starting running back for this team. He's just not a guy that you can sweep under the rug and say we got another guy. He brings a lot to the table and we know what we have to do to make up for it.

Some have compared Murray and Brown to the former star combination of Reggie Bush and Lindell White at Southern Cal. That would make Murray the Bush-type outside runner/receiver and Brown the guy who produces between the tackles. Brown says that sort of comparison works for him.

Another guy who could be a factor Thursday night is Mossis Madu who has run for 463 yards and six TD this season. Madu is a sophomore from Norman, Oklahoma and may be used to replace Murray as a receiving threat since he's caught 11 passes in limited playing time.

CB: Whenever you look at us two guys and you see DeMarco making flashy cuts and say he's a Reggie bush type of runner and I'll take that Lindell White. He can catch the ball out of the backfield like Reggie Bush and he's the type of guy who can make something small into a big play. I feel like I'm more conservative and patient on waiting on things to develop.

LV: Is the Florida defense the best one you've seen this year?

CB: I would have to say so, no doubt. They have a great defensive front, speedy guys in the secondary and they have great ‘backers. They compliment each other all the time and we have a great challenge. We have to create some opportunities to get the ball down the field and score some points.

MG: Oklahoma has lost four of its last five bowl games with all the losses coming in BCS games and two of them BCS Championship games. Last year Oklahoma trailed all the way in losing to West Virginia 48-28 in the Fiesta Bowl. Brown was asked if the team feels the need for redemption this year.

CB: It's hard coming off a big time loss like that and you gotta deal with that up until next year when you can get to another BCS Bowl Game. Looking at the quotes and the score and stuff like that was kind of hard on us. It makes a difference, and it's helped us want it a little more this year. You want to redeem yourself and as a team guys want to fix it and what better way than by winning the national championship?

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