OU runnings back coach Cale Gundy has always maintained that in Allen Patrick, he has another 1,500 yard back. Well, Coach Gundy will get a chance to prove that point now that his star running back, Adrian Peterson, is out for the year with a broken collarbone.
On Monday, Gundy sat down with OUInsider.com to talk about the current status of the running back situation for the Two Minute Drill.
JH: Can the running backs that you have run in all the different formations that OU uses?
CG: "Both Allen and Gute do well in both the I-formation and shotgun."
JH: Could you talk about the styles of running backs that you have now, especially Allen and Gute?
CG: "They are both good runners. We have seen flashes of them on the field at times. Jacob had to play last year several games and AP has been in some big games. He has made some big plays. They are both guys that when the ball is in their hands, they both have the ability to make people miss and to create some big situations."
H: Are they different styles of runners?
CG: "Yeah, a little bit. One is four inches taller than the other one, and one is a lot stronger than the other one. Again, we have a system here and it is not like all of a sudden we are going to change something and go to something else. We believe in what our linemen do, and we believe that we have backs that can do what we do now, and Paul is comfortable. It is our job as coaches to make those decisions as the week goes."
JH: You are not ditching the I-formation then as some people suggest?
CG: "Oh no. We are not ditching the I-formation at all. We may dibble-and-dabble in some other stuff, but that is for all of you guys to see on Saturday."
JH: What would be the purpose of taking a guy like Madu out of redshirt? Would it be to get him to compete for the No. 1 spot or to provide back-up?
CG: "It is because we need him to play. Is he better than what we have on the travel team or the varsity? We play freshmen here and if you are good enough you are going to be up with us. If you are not ready to play physically or mentally, then you need to redshirt a year and develop in those areas. We have no problem playing freshmen players."
JH: What do you have in Mossis Madu, Chris Brown and DeMarco Murray?
CG: "Madu and Chris have been very good. I can speak more of Mossis and Chris Brown, because DeMarco has had the turf-toe injury and he has been out so long. He is just starting to come around the last week or two. He has pretty much missed all of fall camp and he is a guy that we will redshirt. Mossis is a guy who has been getting a ton of reps with the one's and two's in practice in our inside drill and in live situations and team blitz. Chris is a guy that we were redshirting and we still have plans on redshirting. He is the next guy in case something else happens down the road. We are keeping him in meetings and keeping him involved so that he knows the system."
JH: Is Mossis a jump-around guy who can make people miss?
CG: "They are different from AD just because they don't have the true power. There are not very many guys out there who do have the true power. They are guys in the system that we are using and how we are running the ball can be very effective."
JH: You do have a lot of confidence in Allen Patrick as a running back, don't you?
CG: "I think he has the ability to be great. You look at yards per carry last year, and he led the team. Whenever he touched the football he averaged more yards than anybody else on the team. I am not saying he is better than AD, but he is an electrifying runner when he catches and runs with the ball.
"AD and AP are fun to watch before games because they feed off of each other. One just happens to be 20-pounds heavier than the other one. They both love to play and that is why AP is so good on special teams. He is just a guy who loves to fly around. It means something to him."
JH: Is it hard to get a gauge on running backs when they are just getting a few carries a game?
CG: "Allen is out there going against our defense every day. If you had a chance to watch our practices and watch our inside drill, guys are getting their teeth knocked out every single day. So he is getting a lot of good work."
JH: Allen has fumbled the ball a couple of times this year, so are you concerned about that going into the Colorado game?
CG: "Not any more than anybody else."
JH: Do you change anything in the offense to suit AP's style or Gute's?
CG: "No, we won't! People know what we do here and people have seen us play on offense. They know what Kevin Wilson's background is and they know what he likes to do. You guys know what Paul's abilities are and he is fast enough to run the ball. He probably runs a little faster than I did when I played here. I think he does."
JH: Will you try to keep AD involved in the offense since this team feeds off of him so much?
CG: "He is going to. He was in meetings today and he watched the film. Nobody knows what is going to happen. Nobody knows how quickly his injury is going to heal. If I had to guess, and I didn't get my doctorate, I would guess that it is going to heal faster than most people because he is different than most of us.
"The one thing that people have to remember — whatever he wants to do, whatever he decides and his family decides, we are in full support of him from this football team, this program and this university. I do know this — and that is AD loves OU, he loves his teammates here and he loves to play. So you can take it for what it is worth."
Gundy has high praise for Patrick
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