The Norman Transcript

November 16, 2013

Senior tailbacks get the Sooners run game off the ground

By Michael Kinney
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — The 2013 season has been a roller coaster for the running back trio of Damien Williams, Brennan Clay and Roy Finch. When the year began, the three seniors had the potential to make Oklahoma’s backfield one of the strongest units on the team.

However, as the season progressed, all three have been in and out of the lineup and never put it together all at once.

That changed Saturday during the Sooners’ 48-10 victory over Iowa State at Owen Field. Williams, Finch and Clay combined to provide 259 of the team’s 405 rushing yards.

“That’s what we came in today to do,” Williams said. “We came to run the ball and pass the ball. Obviously, the run game was working better. It was just all about practice and what we do to get ready for this moment. Being a senior, and my last one, I tried to give it everything I got. “

Williams ran for 128 yards and two scores while Clay added 86 yards on seven carries. Finch chipped in with 45 yards.

“It’s my last game at home,” Clay said. “I’m going to miss it. It’s been a blessing to play for this program. Our seniors had a big game, including myself, especially our running back corps. It was good that we went out and showed out and had a great game.”

Yet, when the afternoon started, Oklahoma’s ground attack was non existent. The Cyclones limited OU to only 15 rushing yards in the first quarter and 66 at halftime.

“We were stopping the run,” Iowa State linebacker Jeremiah George said. “We were controlling the game as far as what they were limited to do. When we needed to get off the field, we got off the field. It seemed to be working just the way we planned.”

The second half was a different story. With Trevor Knight at quarterback, the Sooners stayed with their zone rushing attack and the holes opened like the Red Sea for the tailbacks.

“Those guys did a great job,” senior lineman Gabe Ikard said. “Damien and Brennan both with big, long runs. Roy did a great job making plays like he always does. We are really pleased with the way those guys played. But we all know it starts up front. I thought we did a great job in the second half of opening up seams for those guys to make plays.”

The seniors also had explosive plays that led to scores. Clay had a 63-yard touchdown run while Williams broke one for 69 yards. It included him high stepping the final few yards into the end zone in his final game at Memorial Stadium.

“It just felt great to know I can get in there one more time,” Williams said. “Just look at my fans one more time and hear the roar from everybody. It felt great.”

Michael Kinney

Follow me @eyeamtruth

mkinney@normantranscript.com

 

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