Five Takeaways From the Oklahoma Football Victory over Kansas State

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Oct 17, 2015; Manhattan, KS, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running back Daniel Brooks (34) finds room to run during a 55-0 win against the Kansas State Wildcats at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

The Running Game Found Its Groove

In the aftermath of the Texas game, Oklahoma’s lack of rushing was a huge reason for concern. After a 2014 season in which Oklahoma led the Big 12 in rushing, the Sooners’ running game had turned downright anemic (currently, Oklahoma is number eight in the Big 12 in rushing offense). Some of it was expected, as many figured Lincoln Riley’s pass-first scheme would de-emphasize the running game. Halfway through the season, it appears offensive coordinator Riley is still trying to figure out how best to utilize Oklahoma’s embarrassment of running back riches.

After the shellacking of Kansas State,  however, the OU rushing offense seemingly is trending in the right direction. Oklahoma left Manhattan with 232 rushing yards, and even though not one single rusher eclipsed the century mark, the carries were nearly evenly distributed among three Sooner running backs. Everyone got in on the action, but no one truly emerged during this game as the featured go-to back. Where last year it was Samaje Perine and everyone else, it looks like 2015 may be a return to running back by committee for the Sooners.

It is disheartening to see Samaje Perine continue to struggle to break out. Halfway through the season, Perine has 420 rushing yards and only three touchdowns, so equaling or even coming close to last year’s totals would seem nearly impossible.  But if last year is any indication of what may happen in 2015, Perine got stronger as the season progressed. As the offensive line jells and improves week to week, the OU rushing attack – not just Perine – will continue to get better. And that will be scary for Oklahoma’s opponents, who must already contend with a dynamic quarterback having a career year and a potent passing attack full of capable receivers.

Next: Oklahoma’s Goals – Well, Some - Are Still Attainable