Oklahoma Sooners fans are already holding their breath just one quarter into the regular season. Sooners’ running back Samaje Perine came out of the game versus the Houston Cougars holding his shoulder early on:
Samaje Perine coming off the field after that hit. Holding shoulder. Uh-oh
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) September 3, 2016
Here’s a good look at the play, in which Houston defender Garrett Davis came up to meet Perine for a crushing blow:
— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) September 3, 2016
Perine departed having rushed for 22 yards on three carries and added 13 yards via the air on a pair of catches from quarterback Baker Mayfield.
It’s safe to say that this isn’t good news for the Sooners. The offense has a ton of star power under center in Mayfield, a Heisman hopeful, as well as senior wide receiver DeDe Westbrook, and a stable of offensive linemen; an offense that lights it up on a weekly basis through its aerial attack, one tends to forget just how good Perine has been in his first few seasons for the Sooners.
Once Wisconsin Badgers’ tailback Melvin Gordon set the FBS record for rushing yards in a game back in 2014, Perine surpassed the mark one week later. He rushed for 427 yards and added six scores versus the Kansas Jayhawks.
Perine went on to finish the year with 1,713 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Oklahoma will be short one playmaker in the backfield but that only equates to a bigger role for Joe Mixon. Last season, he ran for 749 yards on 110 carries (6.8 yards per rush) and seven touchdowns. He’s also another option out of the backfield for Mayfield, as Mixon caught 25 passes for 345 yards as well.