There wasn’t much that was good for Oklahoma in Fort Wort, Texas last Saturday. In fact, there was hardly anything positive at all. TCU thrashed the Sooners by a final score of 55-24 and you could legitimately say that the game wasn’t even that close. However, if you’re bent on finding something positive then I would say there was a small ray of sunshine on an otherwise dark day for the crimson and cream.
Freshman running back Jovantae Barnes ran for 100 yards and two scores and, more impressively, did so when it became clear that Oklahoma’s only hope at moving the ball was on the ground. After Dillon Gabriel’s injury the Sooner passing attack took multiple steps backwards and with the score getting out of hand (embarrassed that I had to type that) the best option was to run the clock by running the ball. That’s when Barnes, who came in for an injured Eric Gray, did his best work yet as a Sooner.
Logging 18 carries, Barned ended the day at an even 100 rushing yards and an average of 5.55 yards per carry. His performance drew some praise from offensive coordinator and boosted fan expectations of what the future might look like with the youngster carrying the ball for the Sooners.
“Jovantae did a good job,” Lebby said after the game. “He had his first 100-yard game. He took care of the football. He had some explosive runs. I’m proud of him and how he played. He’ll continue to get better and create a role for himself.”
A 6-0/200 true freshman from Desert Pines High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jovantae Barnes is a physical but fast running back who gained a lot of attention, and scholarship offers, during his prep career. Choosing to stick with Oklahoma, over 34 other scholarship offers, after Lincoln Riley bolted for USC, Barnes said it was his relationship to Oklahoma running backs coach DeMarco Murray that kept him committed. Now we might just be on the cusp of that relationship, and decision, paying huge dividends for everyone.
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