We’ve finally made it to double digits in our Countdown to Kickoff! With 99 days remaining until the Oklahoma Sooners begin their 2019 season, I want to use this opportunity to take a look at a player who etched his name into the OU record books with a single carry. I’m talking about running back Abdul Adams, who has sole ownership of the longest play from scrimmage in program history.
On Sept. 23, 2017, an undefeated Oklahoma led by Baker Mayfield and first year head coach Lincoln Riley paid the Baylor Bears a visit in Waco. Late in the first quarter, the Sooners found themselves pinned against their own goal line. So what does any play caller with a functioning brain do in this situation? They draw up a hand-off to the tailback to try to give the offense a couple yards of breathing room.
That’s exactly what the plan was in this case, but that breathing room quickly escalated into wide-open real estate.
Apparently, the ingredients for a 99-yard house call are a solid hand-off, a quick stutter step and a sweet cut. Oh, and you also need a pair of jets in your shoes because there’s still about 285 feet of turf between you and the promised land. Having the nation’s best offensive line doesn’t hurt, either.
Up to this point in his career, Adams had shown he was capable of being a serviceable back in Riley’s offense. He played through injuries early on, and shared carries with several eventual pros (Samaje Perine, Joe Mixon, Rodney Anderson). So while he wasn’t statistically producing the kind of output that those others had done for an entire season, with this one run against Baylor, he is forever able to lay claim to a feat that no other player in the history of Sooner Football has ever accomplished.
Previously, the longest runs in Oklahoma history were 96-yarders from Buck McPhail (1951) and Jeff Frazier (1995). In 2012, Damien Williams went 95 yards against Texas. Now when you look at a list of the longest offensive plays, you’ll see Adams’ name above all Sooners.
Following the 2017 season, Adams made the decision to transfer to Syracuse. After sitting out the 2018 regular season per NCAA transfer rules, he was able to take the field in the Orange’s bowl game against West Virginia. The redshirt junior rushed for 19 yards and two touchdowns in the win over the Mountaineers.
Abdul Adam's 2nd TD of the first half pic.twitter.com/RMaByD6oEi— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) December 29, 2018
This fall, Adams is expected to split carries with senior Moe Neal in Dino Babers’ high octane offense. The former OU RB was sidelined during the spring with an arm injury, but is expected to make a full recovery in time before the 2019 season kicks off.
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