2012 Sooner Football: What We Do And Don't Know About The Running Backs

DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 8: Dominique Whaley #8 of the Oklahoma Sooners tries to avoid the tackle of Christian Scott #6 of the Texas Longhorns at the Cotton Bowl on October 8, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. The Sooners defeated the Longhorns 55 to 17. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

While Oklahoma's new crop of receivers is getting their feet wet it appears that the Sooner offense is going to have to rely upon the run game to get things started. That could give some OU fans a sense of anxiousness as a ground and pound offense hasn't necessarily been in Oklahoma's bag of tricks in recent years. However, that doesn't mean that it can't be. We know that the Sooners have the depth and talent at running back but what we don't know is what could cause us some very uneasy moments on third and short.

What We Know

A strong rushing attack is crucial to start the season off. I honestly believe that the passing game is going to be fine by the time conference play starts on Sept. 22nd. For that to happen though, the running game will have to set it up.

The Belldozer package is unstoppable! Yes, defenses are going to adjust but Oklahoma's coaches have already said that they will add more options to it this year. It won't work 100% of the time but you can count on the Sooners having one of the higher third down conversion percentages in the conference.

Depth is good enough for Roy Finch to be working out at slot receiver. Two years ago, when he was a freshman, people couldn't stop comparing Finch to former Sooner great Quentin Griffin. He's a guy that everyone likes to see the ball get into his hands and with the horses that Oklahoma has in the stable the best way for that to happen may be from the stable.

Everyone is excited about Damien Williams. Seriously, everyone is. Coaches are high on him, players are high on him and fans are high on him. At 6-0/208 he was one of the most sought after JUCO running backs in the nation and through the first few days of camp he's shown why.

Alex Ross is fast! There are rumors out there that he's run a sub 4.4 forty. Even if he's at 4.4 flat its extremely impressive when you consider his 6-1/204 frame. That's a whole lot of mass building up momentum and moving quickly.

What We Don't Know

Where Brennan Clay fits in. He's very much liked by his teammates and by all accounts is a hard worker. However, he's yet to quite live up to his 5-star status coming out of high school, where he was also the second ranked all-purpose back in the nation. Could this be the year that everything comes together for him?

Is Dominique Whaley back to form? Whaley was the story of the year in the Big XII last season until a broken leg against Kansas State cost him the remainder of the season. He's been cleared to return but there will be a lot of anxious Sooner fans until he makes the first cut and flashes the speed he had last year.

How many carrier Trey Millard is going to get. He's the complete package. A devastating blocker, a soft-handed receiver out of the backfield and a punishing runner who possesses the speed to run away from defenders and the agility to leap would be tacklers.

How It All Comes Together

There's no question that the Sooners have talent in the backfield. There are questions as to how the talent will be used and which guys will be on the field. As a pass heavy Bedlam game the offense was as balanced in the bowl game as we had seen all year. If anything, they should be run heavy to start the season as the passing game gains experience.

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A PDF version (readable on i-Pads, Kindle, BlackBerry, Android and computers) will be sent via email.

The 2012 Sooner Kickoff is packed with tons of information. Read through complete previews for all twelve of Oklahoma's 2012 opponents as well as special features on Landry Jones, the return of Mike Stoops, the Cali Trio and much more. Explore in detail the 2012 Sooners with complete position breakdowns and a look at each of the newcomers in the 2012 recruiting class.

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