In his words: Samaje Perine

Samaje Perine and his thought following his record-setting 427-yard rushing game Saturday.

A lot has been written and a lot will be written about Oklahoma running back Samaje Perine and his 427-yard record-setting day Saturday.

Perine had 34 carries for 427 yards and five touchdowns in the Sooners’ 44-7 victory against Kansas.

As for the freshman himself, ever humble, this is what he had to say.

On his feelings after breaking the all-time FBS rushing record:

“I really can’t [put my feelings into words] right now. It’s still surreal, and I still feel like we just played a great game and I just did whatever I had to do to help my team. I’m not really feeling special in any type of way. I just look at it as doing what I have to do under certain conditions to just help my team win.”

On when he learned he was close to the record:

“It never really mattered. I just went out there and played the next play, and it just so happened I came up with the record.”

On his offensive line’s performance:

“They always do a phenomenal job up front. Those guys, and Rip [Aaron Ripkowski], and those guys on the perimeter did a great job today at blocking and holding their blocks until I could get past them. They always do a great job week in and week out at preparation. I just try to give those guys all the credit because they deserve it.”

On the reception from teammates after the rush that broke the record:

“It was a great feeling. Being with those guys, the way they rallied around me just to motivate me enough. It was just a great feeling to feel all that love.”

On his play in the first half:

“It just—I took it as it went. My O-line did a fantastic job at opening up holes, and like you said, getting across the O-line untouched, you know a big play is going to happen. And then Rip getting on that linebacker or that safety, and all you see is green and pray you don’t get tackled.”

On what was going through his mind during the record-breaking run:

“Try to score.

“To be honest, I didn’t realize it until I heard my teammates clapping and everything. Once I knew that, it was a great feeling, I guess. I really didn’t think much of it. It was obviously a great thing for them. I’m going to try to embrace it as best I can and try to get ready for Oklahoma State.”

On whether he was ready to come out of the game before breaking the record:

“If they needed me in there, I was going to stay in there. But we have some more great backs that can get it done and Coach [Cale] Gundy wanted to put them in there to get some playing time, and I was all for that. I’m not the one to want the spotlight in any way. I try to give the spotlight to other people. That’s just the type of guy that I am.”

On if he is going to pay attention to people’s reactions across the country:

“No. Not me.”

On going from a guy that nobody talked about in the preseason to where he is today:

“Working hard every day and just keeping my head down and doing whatever the coaches ask me to do and doing it full speed and just giving it everything that I have.”

On if he knew he was better than a ‘fourth-string guy’ coming into the season:

“I really didn’t know. I just came in open-minded and ready to give everything I had and I’m blessed to have come so far.”

On where he thinks this will take him going forward:

“I really don’t know. I’m just the same Samaje Perine that plays his heart out every play and I’m ready to do that for three more years.”

On his favorite part of today:

“I think just the support that we have – the fans stuck it out through the bad weather and I really appreciate them for that. I know you wouldn’t see many fans do that but that just goes to show the support that we have and we really love our fans and it’s a great thing to have when it’s bad weather outside but they stick it out because they love the game and they love OU football.”

On if he heard the ‘Perine’ chant:

“Yeah, I could. But I tried not to let it affect me too much.”

On the running backs throughout college football history he has eclipsed:

“I’m still going to admire those guys just as much as I admired them before. Probably more now, just to see how they responded to all of their success. I’ll try to take some pointers from them. Just go about my normal self and being my own self.”

On starting a game fast instead of grinding a team down:

“It was unusual, I’ll say that. Being untouched isn’t something that I’m used to. I’m still adjusting to it just because I think that I’m not the best runner in the open field. I have a little bit of speed, but not much. I would much rather find contact, but if I see a hole I’m going to try my best to get what I can out of it.”

On whether he paid attention to LaDainian Tomlinson while growing up in Texas:

“I did a little bit, but not as much. Growing up I didn’t really watch much football. I played it, but I didn’t really have the patience to watch it. I was kind of a jitterbug, so I had to be outside and playing all the time. The few times that I did see him, he obviously had fantastic games. Nowadays I will go on YouTube and look up some of his highlights and see how he became so successful and try to take some stuff from him. But I can’t take too much because he’s much faster than I am. I do what I can, and he’s obviously a great back.”

On his post-game schedule after today’s win:

“I did a radio interview, then I took a shower. I took a couple of pictures with some great kids, and now I’m in here.”

On how he’ll handle his new success and notoriety:

“I honestly do not know. I’m just going to give credit where it’s due, and that’s obviously to my—the other 10 guys on the field with me. Just stay in my room and keep as quiet as possible. If someone says, ‘Great game,’ I say, ‘Thank you,’ and just keep walking.”

On the first person he’ll call tonight:

“No one. My parents are already here. They’re the only ones that I need.”

On whether he’ll watch himself on ESPN tonight:

“No. I’m probably going to watch cartoons. I really like Tom & Jerry, but if Scooby Doo’s on, I’ll watch that, too.”

On how he went from not being talked about in the preseason to where he is today:

“Working hard every day, just keeping my head down and doing whatever the coaches ask me to do and doing it full speed and just giving it everything that I have.”


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