Welcome back to another episode of our 2020 Countdown to Kickoff series! As of this Thursday, the Oklahoma Sooners are set to return to the football field in just 72 days. Speaking of which, I want to take a short trip down memory lane to highlight the longest run for OU’s all-time career rushing leader — Samaje Perine.
The date was Nov. 21, 2015. For Oklahoma, it was Senior Night inside the Palace on the Prairie, and the No. 7 Sooners were in contention to qualify for a CFP semifinal. Two more regular season games were all that stood in the way, although the first of which was up against the wily Gary Patterson and his TCU Horned Frogs.
The contest started out normal enough, but during the first half Baker Mayfield was on the receiving end of a vicious blow to the head by a TCU defender. He would remain in the game until the halftime, and even threw for another TD before ultimately being sidelined for the rest of the evening.
Trevor Knight would take over in Mayfield’s place in the second half, and to put it nicely — it wasn’t pretty. Fortunately, he had sophomore RB Samaje Perine to lean on, and mid-way through the third quarter the beastly back pinballed his way into open space en route to an appointment with the south end zone.
Standout WR Sterling Shepard picked up the final downfield block to seal the deal for Perine, which proved vital considering No. 32’s health status at the time. You notice right at the end of the play that Perine was a bit hobbled at the end of the run. That’s actually because earlier in the third quarter, Perine endured a slight ankle sprain while making a reception. Continuing on without Mayfield was already proving quite the challenge, but not having No. 32 could have meant total disaster for Oklahoma’s CFP hopes.
Of course, Perine’s 72-yard touchdown run would be the last time Oklahoma added to its score total on the night. Meanwhile the Horned Frogs kept chipping away, eventually finding themselves with an opportunity to steal a win with a two-point conversion attempt in the final minute of the fourth quarter.
Thankfully, safety Steven Parker activated his superhero mode to rise up and knock down the would-be conversion. OU would travel to Stillwater the following week to bury the Oklahoma State Cowboys in Bedlam, claiming the Big 12 title and earning a berth to the second-ever College Football Playoff.
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