Before we turn the page to the final bye week for Oklahoma, let’s take one more look at the week that was.
Let’s look at just one more thing.
You cannot overstate what Samaje Perine did Saturday
Within minutes of OU freshman running back Samaje Perine setting the NCAA FBS record for most rushing yards in a single game, the detractors were already out.
Guess 34 carries for 427 yards and five touchdowns just didn’t quite make everybody happy. Questions and criticisms ranged from why was he still in there in the fourth quarter to the record means nothing since it was against Kansas.
Nobody is trying to discredit what Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon did in his memorable 408-yard performance the week before. Not one person so it’s a bit confusing to see some people try to tear down Perine.
This season will always be known for what might have been for OU. However, for one Saturday, football was fun again in Norman. From the fans to the coaches to the teammates, everybody wanted to be a part of Perine’s moment even if Perine didn’t quite care as much.
“The day after he rushed for 242 yards at West Virginia, he was in here buying pizzas for the offensive linemen,” running backs coach Cale Gundy said. “I’ve never had anyone do that around here. I think it’s more of the respect that they have for him, and the person he is. He’s humble. He’s not worried that he’s the starter or not. He’s one of those kids that just wants to win.”
The talk was Perine after the game and how his down-to-earth attitude could win over any remaining critic. We weren’t talking about Joe Mixon and a misdemeanor. We weren’t talking about whether or not the university treated Frank Shannon fairly.
No discussion of eligibility appeals of Dorial Green-Beckham or Baker Mayfield. No frustration at lack of communication in the defense and blown coverages in the secondary. No debate about inconsistent quarterback play at the worst time possible.
None of that. It was one of the worst conditions ever for an OU home game in the Bob Stoops era, and he said as much after the game. A three-loss OU team, a three-win Kansas team, 11 a.m. kick in the pouring rain was a recipe for pitiful attendance.
A 90-minute weather delay didn’t help matters, but those who stayed got to see a performance for the ages.
“You know we witnessed history, and I’m so grateful to be his teammate and be able to witness that,” linebacker Eric Striker said. “I mean that’s what happens when you respect the game, work hard and he just came in here so far ahead of his time and everybody knows that. You just don’t find guys like that. It’s very rare. I’m just very proud of him and to be his teammate.”
OU doesn’t have a seat at the table regarding the four-team college football playoff. It won’t be adding another conference championship in the trophy case this season. Perine, though, gave OU fans at least one weekend of happiness, one weekend of putting the gripes to the side to enjoy a special outing.
He was named the Walter Camp Offensive Player of the Week and earned the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honor for the third time and second consecutive week.
All the talk about the top players going into the season, and it has been a freshman from Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson that has made it memorable in Norman.