The Norman Transcript

Sports

August 24, 2009

Murray and Brown’s versatility makes for all kinds of possibilities

Many boxers had one great punch, but the greats always used combinations to reach the top.

Football is no different when it comes to running the ball. One quality running back — no matter how good — is never enough.

That’s why the duo of seniors DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown gives Oklahoma one of the best backfields in college football.

“The two of them together make a very special backfield,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “Those guys, there are not a lot of teams around the country with two thousand-yard rushers side by side … The two of them give us a lot of opportunities back there.”

Besides the obvious, of being able to have a fresh running back on the field at all times, it’s the tandem’s versatility that separates it from the rest of the pack.

Both Murray and Brown rushed for over 1,000 yards last season, but they also caught touchdown passes — four for Murray and one for Brown — and along with averaging more than 5 yards per carry.

That’s the reason both received All-Big 12 honors.

If they can stay healthy, both are expected to turn in as good or better seasons in 2009.

Health, however, is always a crapshoot when it comes to running backs. A November injury ended Murray’s season each of the last two years. He’s yet to play more than one play in a Big 12 championship game and has never stepped on the field for a bowl game.

He’s been slowed by a preseason hamstring injury, but has tried to limit contact on the practice field.

“It’s going to be a good thing going into the season opener fresh and not having to go through camp getting bruised up. There’s going to be a positive to this,” Murray said.

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