OU football: Five players Sooners need to especially account for this season

STILLWATER, OK - SEPTEMBER 17 : Wide receiver James Washington
STILLWATER, OK - SEPTEMBER 17 : Wide receiver James Washington /
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LUBBOCK, TX – OCTOBER 15: Justin Crawford
LUBBOCK, TX – OCTOBER 15: Justin Crawford /

West Virginia running back Justin Crawford, jersey No. 25

Justin Crawford rushed for 1,184 yards last season, and 331 of those yards came in just one game, against Oklahoma. The West Virginia senior had 24 carries against the Sooners and averaged 13.8 yards per carry, including a career-long 61 yard scamper.

The Sooners dominated the game last season at West Virginia, doubling up on the Mountaineers, 56-28, but Crawford was a one-man wrecking crew for the other side.

Crawford exceeded 100 yards on the ground four other times in 2016, including a 209-yard game against Baylor. He is 6-feet tall and just a notch over 200 pounds, but he runs like a greased pig, has good balance and is tough to bring down if you don’t wrap up with the tackle.

The Sooners weren’t the only ones who had trouble corralling the speedy and shifty West Virginia running back in 2016. Crawford finished third in the Big 12 last season in rushing yards and leads all Big 12 running backs returning this season.

Crawford’s 7.3 yards per carry a year ago led the Big 12 and was sixth-best in the country.

Barring injury, Oklahoma undoubtedly will see plenty of the West Virginia running back when the Sooners host the Mountaineers in the regular-season finale in late November. They may see him. The question is: Will they be able to stop him?

James Washington

Justin Crawford

Malik Jefferson (Texas defense)

Shane Buechelle

Reggie Walker, KSU

Kyle Hicks

J.T. Barrett