The Norman Transcript

Sports

October 30, 2005

Peterson healthy again

LINCOLN, Neb. — Oklahoma had a swagger it hadn’t possessed in four weeks when it walked into Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium Saturday.

The reason for the confidence was simple.

“We have our stallion back,” OU running back Kejuan Jones said while glancing toward backfield mate Adrian Peterson.

The Sooners truly did and they rode him to a 31-24 victory over Nebraska.

Peterson carried the ball 24 times for 146 yards. Both were his second highest totals of the season. It was the type of performance OU thought it could count on from Peterson every game. He mass produced during his freshmen season when he went from top recruit to runner-up in the Heisman Trophy balloting.

During OU’s first win of the season, Sept. 10 against Tulsa, Peterson ran wild for 220 yards and carried the Sooner offense on his broad shoulders.

However, a severe ankle sprain two games later against Kansas State put him on the shelf for the last three games.

He played against Texas and Kansas, but was hardly in top form, carrying the ball eight times in those games for just five yards.

But after sitting out last week’s game against Baylor, the ankle had healed to the point he could make a difference.

A huge difference.

“You can’t put what he means to us in words,” OU fullback J.D. Runnels said. “You can tell the difference between Adrian with the ankle (injury) and plain old Adrian.”

Plain old Adrian is the type of player capable of breaking big runs on any play. The Sooners had been without it in their previous three games.

They’d also lacked the ability to wear down a defense. Peterson brought that to the table Saturday, too.

“He’s a hard man to take down,” Nebraska defensive lineman Jay Moore said. “I had him a couple times and he’s strong. He’s a heck of a back, you know. He’s by far the best we’ve played so far.”

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