The Oklahoma Sooners started the season with a plethora of talent in the backfield. However, the situation rapidly changed with the loss of star back, Rodney Anderson. After struggling to find a rhythm, the group suffered another setback as Marcelias Sutton was lost for the remainder of the year. Eventually, a viable duo surfaced leading to a balanced offensive attack.
At the current pace, Trey Sermon and Kennedy Brooks have amassed 1661 combined yards on the ground. Providing a boost on the offensive side of the ball, the production of the backfield quickly outpaced many other programs across the nation. Racking up 260.73 rushing yards per game, Oklahoma ranks seventh in the country. It’s a major reason for the success of the team this year. But, as Murphy’s Law states, “things will go wrong in any given situation, if you give them a chance.”
That’s exactly how the scenario has continuously played out for the Sooners this season.
Seen in a boot on Saturday, Trey Sermon failed to return to action against the Kansas Jayhawks while T.J. Pledger has not carried the ball in weeks. Now, with an upcoming contest on Friday, the prognosis does not look good for those on the injury list. Continuing to carry the label of questionable, Oklahoma is down to a single scholarship running back…Brooks.
Needless to say, it might be time for the coaching staff to get creative. In 2005, the Sooners recruited the No. 14 JUCO Prospect named Allen Patrick despite a broken fibula forcing him to the sideline as a sophomore. After arriving on campus, Patrick attempted to earn a spot on the field as a defensive back. Yet, the staff at the time clearly had another plan in the works. Dipping into the high school resume posted by Patrick, Oklahoma converted the untapped talent to running back.
A diamond in the rough, Patrick sat behind Adrian Peterson until the injury bug struck. Entering the starting lineup in 2006, the unlikely candidate at the position earned an All-Conference Honorable Mention even though Patrick missed two games that season. The harsh reality is that desperate times call for desperate measures.
With West Virginia standing between the Sooners and a Big 12 Championship berth, injuries continue to pile up. Running thin at running back, there must be a solution. Will it be a similar situation to the one that played out in 2005 with Allen Patrick?