The Norman Transcript

Sports

October 10, 2013

Clay has become most potent weapon in crunch time

NORMAN — Coaches can say they have full faith in a player, but there are limited ways to show it. One steadfast way is to give him the ball in the fourth quarter with the game on the line.

In that sense, Oklahoma’s confidence in running back Brennan Clay is unwavering.

“He’s been consistent, and he’s taken care of the football. He’s ran it with a physical presence. All those things lend themselves to why he’s played well in the fourth quarter,” OU offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said.

It’s easy to look at Clay’s team-leading 450 rushing yards and understand why Heupel feels that way about him. When Clay has picked up those yards fully illustrates why he’s held in such high regard.

The 12th-ranked Sooners (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) have played three games where the outcome was in doubt in the fourth quarter — the 16-7 victory over West Virginia, the 35-21 win over Notre Dame and last week’s 20-17 victory over TCU.

Clay averaged 51.3 fourth-quarter rushing yards in the those game. The average might have been skewed somewhat by the 76-yard, game-winning touchdown run he produced against the Horned Frogs. But the original intention of that drive was to grind out the victory.

For the last two seasons, that’s meant giving the ball to Clay.

“Coach will put me in a position to make plays late in the game, and being able to come up with the big plays,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of those big plays.”

Clay didn’t just start becoming productive late in games in the last month.

Remember the overtime touchdown run in last season’s Bedlam game?

The Sooners hope he’ll come up with more when they face Texas (3-2, 2-0) at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 5.49.44 AM.png Julian Wilson, Geneo Grissom take on more suitable roles for 2015 season

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches....

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woodard joins successful soccer team in Stillwater

    Haley Woodard has been one of the preeminent multi-sport stars in the state for several years. The Norman North senior is a state champion in track and soccer and has been an integral part of a basketball team that’s been to back-to-back ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Smoke turns corner at Indy

    INDIANAPOLIS — Drivers always say there’s something magical about Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the opportunity for NASCAR to race there opened the door for one of Jeff Gordon’s most treasured victories. It was a race Tony Stewart ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Roma tops Liverpool

    BOSTON — Marco Borriello scored in the 90th minute to give Roma a 1-0 victory over Liverpool in a preseason friendly Wednesday night at Fenway Park. There were limited chances until Borriello volleyed in a corner from in front of goal....

    July 24, 2014

  • Marcus Mariota helps Oregon’s PAC-12 title chance in preseason polls

    LOS ANGELES — Although Marcus Mariota knew he would be under a spotlight when he stepped onto the famed Paramount Studios lot Wednesday, the Oregon quarterback is getting quite comfortable in his starring role....

    July 24, 2014

  • Majka wins 16th stage, Nibali leads

    PLA D’ADET, France — On the last of four Pyrenees ascents, Rafal Majka winked at a French TV camera and tugged playfully at a motorcycle’s antenna....

    July 24, 2014

  • Aggie’s QB Chuckie Keeton talk dominates Mountain West media day

    LAS VEGAS — Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton got his junior season off to a superb start, only to have it derailed by a knee injury in Game 6....

    July 24, 2014

  • Heavily favored U.S. group faces off against world’s best female golfers

    OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The inaugural International Crown is unique for what it isn’t. Thirty-two elite players from eight countries will compete at Caves Valley Golf Club to determine which nation has the best women’s players in the world. ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Weir, DeLaet attempt to end 60-year Open drought

    MONTREAL — Mike Weir was well aware that it has been 60 years since a Canadian won the Canadian Open....

    July 24, 2014

  • NCAA infractions chair responds to ‘cheating pays’

    The chairman of the NCAA’s infractions committee says a number of factors could be the cause for the lack of activity by the group that prompted Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby to call the enforcement program “broken.”

    July 23, 2014

Facebook