OU report card: Running back

Perine leads a talented group of ball carriers for the Sooners

The 2014 season is in the books for Oklahoma as the Sooners began the season in the top five but ended a disappointing 8-5 with losses in the final two games.

Before we start looking ahead to 2015, we’re going to take another look at every position this season for the Sooners.

Running backs

Bob Przybylo: A-. Only reason can’t go higher is because of the two crucial stops against TCU and Kansas State. Other than that, what more could you want from this group?

OU averaged 6.1 yards per carry, unheard of. The combination of Samaje Perine, Keith Ford and Alex Ross absolutely delivered time and time again for the Sooners. With the passing attack sputtering, it was up to the running game to put a charge in the offense.

Perine became the unquestioned breakout star, but honestly any of the three would be acceptable for most teams across the nation. Not only are all of them coming back, none of them will even be seniors in 2015.

This is a scary, scary group to be on the watch for. It was this season, and it sure should be the case again next year.

Justin Hite: B+. It’s been said before but can you imagine this Oklahoma offense without Samaje Perine, left for the redshirt graveyard in mid-July by some.

Instead . . . well, you know the rest.

As for this group, it was solid – not great.

For what was expected, Perine, Keith Ford and Alex Ross went above and beyond.

It’s easy to forget Ross’ lack of early production and get lost in his success as a kick-off return.

Perine earned his 6.5 per carry average, but to believe that Alex Ross’ team-leading 6.8 yards per carry was his doing would be faulty.

Again, they were all very good players – thus the above average grade. Beyond Perine, there’s still questions in this group from the returners. Ford re-contracted fumble-itis, and Ross still has room to grow as a running back. There’s a chance neither of those two are in the top-three rotation by the end of next season.

Sooners Illustrated overall grade: A-.


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