Claremore Daily Progress

September 12, 2012

D-Williams still the backup in Norman

CLAY HORNING
CNHI News Services

NORMAN — Oklahoma’s Damien Williams is the 12th leading rusher in the nation with 267 yards through two games.



Of the 11 backs in front of him, every single one has at least twice Williams’ 19 carries. Clemson’s Andre Ellington has 38, everybody else has more. Also, of those first 11, only one is averaging at least 10 yards per carry.



That’s UCLA’s Jonathan Franklin, who leads everybody with 431 yards while averaging 10.5 a pop, 3.2 less than Williams’ 13.7 a pop.



So, shock of all shocks, the question was asked to Sooner co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel — the play-caller of the two-headed coordinator grouping along with Jay Norvel — if Williams might become the starter in front of Dom Whaley, who has carried 21 times for 117 yards.



See if you can find an answer in Heupel’s answer.



“At the end of the day, this question comes up every year: Who’s going to be the lead horse at the running back position?” Heupel said. “Ultimately, we’re going to need all those guys to perform …



Nope, no answer yet, though it’s interesting how this question comes up ever year but only at the end of the day. Also, “lead horse” is a nice touch. It seems to indicate an understanding of the question.



“Dom’s coming off a serious injury and he’s going to continue to get better and better as he gets more and more touches. He didn’t go through any contact going through two-a-days with the injury. So he’s going to continue to get better. He’s going to continue to get work …



Oh, so Whaley will continue to start and continue to get most of the carries early in the game. Because that’s what it sounds like if he’s going to keep getting “more and more touches” which are apparently required for him to “get better and better.”



“Damien, certainly, the first couple of weeks, is playing as well as anyone we’ve had here at that position in a while. I’m sure his number of carries will continue to increase.”



Wait. Confused. If you’re sure his number of carries will “continue to increase,” how will that happen in a world in which Whaley is going to get “more and more” work?”



Really, what’s wrong with “yes,” “no” or “We’re a long way from finishing our game plan for Kansas State, but I’m sure when we do, it will address how we divide up the running duties, and after two weeks Damien has certainly earned every consideration.”



Or something like that.



What we can’t have is this kind of nonsensical gobbledygook.



We understand the OU has played two games against two teams that aren’t very good. We understand running Williams out there after Whaley’s gotten most of the early carries may be part of the reason he’s looked so good. We understand you’re loyal to Whaley, even if it took you guys so long to give the kid a scholarship.



But in case you haven’t heard, the No. 15 Wildcats are up next and, two weeks into the season, that team has looked better than your team. If Williams is your best back, period, then he needs to get most of the carries and start getting them earlier in the game.



It’s a good thing nobody asked about Roy Finch.



Oh, wait, they did.



What’s his role?



“We all know what type of talent Roy is. We know the type of explosiveness he brings to us offensively when you get the ball to him in space. We saw some of that the other night. Ultimately, we as a coaching staff, teammates, everybody, are asking all of our guys to buy in, be disciplined in everything you do, how you approach every single day, on and off the field, because it’s going to show up on game day at some point, too. And if Roy continues to handle himself in a good way and practice better, he’s going to continue to …”



Enough. Enough.



Can’t take it any more.



Really.



Just stop.