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Oklahoma Breakdown: Running Backs

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The performance for the tailbacks was better than the overall final numbers you'll see in the papers (124 yards on 32 carries) - Texas lost eight yards on a poorly executed reverse, and took a knee three times to end the football game. But Jamaal Charles and Selvin Young were very good on Saturday afternoon, banging out tough yards on carry after carry and providing a balance to the Texas attack that helped open things up for McCoy.

Selvin Young's got to be given all the credit in the world for how far he's come back after the crippling ankle injuries. He's not only running with a terrific burst - he's running very physically, too, earning difficult yards after contact on almost every carry.


Selvin's all the way back.

Jamaal put on another impressive show at the Cotton Bowl, even if his rushes weren't game changing backbreakers like last year's 80-yard burst. He's proving himself to be one of the most patient and effective backs in the country week in and week out, sliding about until he sees a hole develop - and then bursting through it with that All American speed. He only finished with 65 yards, but he did so on just 12 carries (5.5 per rush).

Best of all, there's so little separation between the two tailbacks that you can sub them almost at random and get similar results. Texas tends to favor Charles when the yards to gain are absolutely critical, but other than that, the two are an equal force of rushing prowess. Their combined strength also allows Texas to wear down opponents, and you could literally see the Sooners' exhaustion by the fourth quarter of the football game.

In a game that's defined by which team is more physical and takes care of the football best, a performance like the one we got from these two is just tremendous. When you throw in their excellent blitz pick up blocking, it's easy to give the duo an A- for the afternoon.

--PB--