The Norman Transcript

Sports

January 9, 2014

Run game solid for Saints

METAIRIE, La. — When Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman started studying video for this Saturday’s rematch with the Saints in the NFC playoffs, he noticed something different about New Orleans’ offense.

“They are running the ball extremely well and that is different from the game we played against them previously,” Sherman said, alluding to the Seahawks’ 34-7 demolition of the Saints on Dec. 2. “They are a confident bunch.”

The Saints, whose offense has been defined by Drew Brees’ prolific passing the past eight years, rushed for 185 yards in an opening-round playoff victory at Philadelphia last weekend.

Coach Sean Payton’s confidence in the ground game was never more obvious than when he called eight runs on New Orleans’ 10-play game-winning drive that chewed up the last 4:54 on the clock. The last seven plays consisted of six meaningful runs, followed by Brees’ keeper to the middle to set up Shayne Graham’s 32-yard field goal as time expired.

Mark Ingram, who has largely struggled to live up to the expectations that came with being a Heisman Trophy winner and first round draft choice, led the running game in the absence of Pierre Thomas — the Saints’ leading rusher this season but sidelined with a chest injury. Ingram rushed 18 times for 97 yards and a touchdown, averaging 5.4 yards per carry.

“He’s been running real well,” Payton said. “I liked his ball security the other night. Those aren’t always easy yards. I am pleased with how he is playing and I think he’s had a handful of games now toward the latter part of the season where he’s been exceptional.”

Indeed, though Ingram’s 386 total yards rushing during the regular season did nothing to distinguish him, he overcame early season injuries and appeared to get stronger as the season wore on, finishing with a respectable average of 4.9 yards per carry for the season.

In addition to Ingram, the Saints have been getting run production from rookie Khiry Robinson. He added 45 yards on eight carries in Philadelphia.

Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Red White Transfer QB Baker Mayfield shows promise in Red-White Game

    Individual awards were not handed out after Saturday’s Red-White Game. If they had, quarterback Baker Mayfield wouldn’t have left Owen Field empty handed. He only played against defensive backups, but going 9 for 9 for 125 yards and two ...

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Could it be, a nicer gentler Stoops?

    My favorite line from the spring game — Is the Red/White a thing of the past; is it just “spring game’ now? I digress — was the last one Bob Stoops offered during his series of conversations with Ron Thulin and Dave Lapham, the ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Big games on calendar for preps come Thursday

    Don’t expect anything but lopsided scores as the prep soccer season resumes tonight for Norman High and Norman North.  The Tigers are at Midwest City and the Timberwolves are at Putnam City. Indeed, the most interesting matchup of the week ...

    April 15, 2014

  • OU skipper looking for more firepower in the lineup

    What Oklahoma coach Pete Hughes did following the two-hour rain delay against Texas was telling. It didn’t pay off in the Sooners’ 8-1 loss that secured a series sweep for the Longhorns. But it declared where the Sooners are and that some ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Cards pitching shuts down Brewers again

    MILWAUKEE — Shelby Miller struck out seven and allowed three hits over six innings, and Mark Ellis had two RBIs in his return from the disabled list to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 6-1 win Tuesday night over the Milwaukee Brewers. ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Commissioner calls replay start ‘remarkable’

    NEW YORK — Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says the sport’s new replay system is working well despite a few problems during its first two weeks....

    April 16, 2014

  • Fielder finally goes deep as Rangers shut out Mariners

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Prince Fielder and Kevin Kouzmanoff hit back-to-back homers, Robbie Ross limited Seattle to five singles in seven-plus innings and the Texas Rangers beat the Mariners 5-0 Tuesday night....

    April 16, 2014

  • Sooners prevail in 18-inning Bedlam showdown

    STILLWATER — Oklahoma hoped a little more pop in the lineup would serve as an energy injection....

    April 16, 2014

  • Warriors trying to move on without Bogut

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Go small or go home....

    April 16, 2014

  • White Sox wear Boston Strong on 1-year anniversary

    CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox have paid tribute to victims of the Boston Marathon bombing before their game against the Red Sox....

    April 16, 2014

Facebook