The 2010 season was a very promising season for Roy Finch. He rushed for a total of 398 yards behind DeMarco Murray after missing the first five games of the season as well as the bowl game with an injury. However, with the departure of Murray, fans were very excited to see Finch at 100% while getting a majority of the carries. Yet, with the injuries we saw Finch drop from 185lbs to 166lbs.
Now fast forward to the 2011 season. Oklahoma has added a tremendous amount of depth at the RB position and th question became "how are the coaches going to get all the talent in the backfield enough carries to keep them all satisfied?" Finch burst onto the scene after questions of why he had not been redshirted. The press certainly got their answer and in turn voted him a Preseason All-Big XII Player. It went a little further than that as some named Finch a Heisman Contender. But the biggest surprise of the 2011 season has been the emergence of Dominique Whaley, at least up to this point. A walk-on who has shown the will to play and get better, Whaley cracked the depth chart and has been the go to guy. Now Brennan Clay has been the actual starter in both games but Whaley is getting the lion's share of the carries.
Finch was labeled the "X-Factor" and was expected to have a limited role against Tulsa (5 carries for 23 yards). However, the thought was that his role would become apparent against Florida St. as he is simply a player who is very elusive and loaded with talent once he has the ball in space. If Oklahoma fans had no idea how Finch was going to be used, Florida St. coaches were sure to be in the same boat. We were wrong in our assumptions and Finch has yet to have a significant role on this Oklahoma offense. Maybe his lack of involvement is due to concerns with his drop in weight and the ability to absorb hit after hit (especially in the slug-fest that was this last Saturday night). Sooner Nation is dying to know, "Where has all the Roy Finch gone?"
The idea behind the 2011 season, on a team loaded with talent and depth, was to be able to come up with different looks on offense without the need to switch personnel. Roy Finch would seem to have been a perfect fit with his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Combine him with the likes of Brennan Clay and Trey Millard and the options are near limitless.
One way coaches saw to get Finch involved in this offense was to put in him the slot. This is where fans saw him take the field against Tulsa and again against Florida St. Finch has had this to say about the move:
"That's where I feel most comfortable, I feel like the coaches are going to use me in that type of way this year."
With the way Whaley and Clay have carried the ball, it would seem that Finch's shot at more carries out of the backfield is getting slimmer. And let's not forget about Brandon Williams who has yet to see playing time. Williams has long been considered the most explosive back OU has recruited since AD. If Williams gets a shot at RB, you would have to think Finch's chances just get even worse. But, could good ole Bob Stoops prove this wrong?
"We love Roy," Bob Stoops said. "He'll continue to get more and more snaps."
What's not to love about Finch's ability? It is very apparent that the cloud of smoke surrounding Roy Finch is unsettled. When it does finally decide to dissipate, expect Finch to be a good contributor to this offense while helping the team win.