Clay, Franks with breakout seasons

Breakout seasons were needed for OU to make it to a BCS bowl game and that's exactly what the Sooners got from multiple players.

Expectations weren't high for this year's Oklahoma team. The only way the Sooners were going to make a run at a BCS bowl was if they had some players step up in a major way.

OU did and will face Alabama in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. This two-part series will look at it offense and special teams the first day and then defense the second day.

Running back Brennan Clay

Clay finished 2012 in a huge way, but there was no way to determine how things were going to turn out for his senior season. A loaded backfield with Roy Finch and Damien Williams, Clay could have gotten lost in the shuffle. Instead he has emerged as OU's No. 1 guy on and off the field. Clay has rushed for 913 yards and six touchdowns this season.

Best moment: His best game was a 200-yard and two-touchdown showing at Kansas State, but his best moment was the 76-yard touchdown run that sealed the deal in OU's victory against TCU.

Quarterback Trevor Knight

Nobody knew what to expect from the redshirt freshman heading into the season but hopes were high after he was named the starting quarterback. Knight had an uneven season, but the future looks really bright for Knight. He made some big plays and looked more comfortable in the passing game when he got his second chance during the season.

Best moment: A 56-yard touchdown run against Iowa State. Knight had to take over in the second quarter and looked more comfortable than he ever had before. His passing game is still a work in progress, but his running ability is something that will be tough for teams to handle in the future.

Offensive guard Nila Kasitati

Kasitati had dealt with a lot of health issues during his time in Norman but has become a vital member of the offensive line this season. He started to begin the season, and when Adam Shead went down for the final two games of the season, Kasitati had no problem in taking his spot. His ability to play either left or right guard came in handy this season.

Best moment: Starting the season opener against ULM. Absolute testament to his resolve and determination as a player to earn that spot and stay in the mix throughout the season.

Special teams

Trey Franks

It sure felt like Franks would never see the field again after all his off the field transgressions, but he did all the little things to get himself back on the field. He might never impact the offense again, but he has become one heck of a special teams performer. His speed has been vital in the coverage of kickoff and punt returns.

Best moment: Going to Bedlam at Oklahoma State. On back-to-back punts, Franks was able to get down on coverage and stop it at the 1 yard line. Franks embraced doing whatever the team asked him to do this season.

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