The Norman Transcript

Sports

October 10, 2013

Clay has become most potent weapon in crunch time

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Sure, the fourth quarter hasn’t meant much in the last two Red River Rivalries. But OU is a different team now. It wins games in the fourth quarter.

“We do a great job, harping all week that it’s a 60-minute game and if it comes down to the wire, we have to do that,” Clay said. “We really harp on finishing with the ball in our possession, and being able to run out the clock. Finishing the defense, depleting them and doing what we need to do to win.”

It takes a strong running game and strong running backs to do it. OU hasn’t truly had a feature back since Adrian Peterson’s last season in 2006. Clay is going to share the job with seniors Damien Williams and Roy Finch. It gives OU a fresh running back on the field at all times.

All three have their strengths, but Clay is the one who seems to have made the biggest jump since last season.

“He’s stronger, I think he has put on some strength and maybe a few pounds, so I think overall, I think he’s stronger, more powerful,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “He’s always been reliable. Smart player. And I think it’s fair, too, with all these guys, with him, splitting up the reps, they’re fresh when they get their opportunities. I think, like when he hit that the other night, had he already carried it 18 times, he may not get in. But he comes in there, he pops it, he’s fresh, he’s got good legs, he’s able to take it the distance. I think there’s a little bit of that element, too.”

Whatever the factors, Clay has been at his best with the clock winding down. The Sooners will continue to ride him.

Clay Horning

Follow me @clayhorning

cfhorning@normantranscript.com

 

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