Griffin Hurls One Last Dagger

I take back everything I ever said about RB <B>Quentin Griffin</b>. I speculated (hoped, actually) in my pre-game pick that <B>Cedric Benson </b>with turf toe would be more effective Saturday than a healthy Griffin. I referred to the 5-7 Griffin as an Ommpa-Loompa in shoulder pads. He is actually the little engine that could.

The Sooner senior carried 32 times for 248 yards, an average of 7.8 yards per tote. (Benson, meanwhile, registered 54 yards on 22 carries, an average gain of 2.5 yards).

"I just think I can do well," Griffin said. "I don't really read papers about negative things so that doesn't really bother me."

On a day when Oklahoma QB Nate Hybl struggled (12-of-29 for 131 yards, four interceptions), Griffin single handedly moved the ball for more yards in four quarters than entire teams have averaged (225.6) against the second-ranked Texas defense all year.

Schematically, OU was able to spring Griffin on draw plays, wrap-around hand-offs from spread formations, on pitches, typically generating five-yards here, six-yards there, including a long ball burst of 45 yards. Credit OU offensive coaches for developing a game plan that kept a speedy, blitzing, pressuring Texas defense on its toes.

"Quentin has faith in his teammates and in what he can do," OU head coach Bob Stoops said. "When called upon, he's an exceptional player."

Despite his hefty numbers, Griffin's biggest contribution was when picked up a Will People's fumble following a 4-yard reception from Hybl and ran it in from two, giving OU its first lead of the day, 21-17.

"(The play) was a big shock to our defense," DE Cory Redding said, who finished the day with just three tackles. "I don't know if anyone in this room wanted to win that game more than me. Football is a tough sport. Things don't always go your way."

Griffin graduates having posting nine touchdowns against the Horns and is now the tenth leading rusher in OU history. His rushing yardage Saturday ranks second on the all-time OU list for a Sooner running back in the series.

"Quentin is very special," Stoops said. "He had an incredible day. He loves to play in the Cotton Bowl. It's unfortunate he's a senior."

No, it's not.


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