Tulsa-OU pregame: Which RB gets carries?

September, 3, 2011
9/03/11
6:16
PM ET
With Oklahoma set to kick off against Tulsa in about an hour, here are some things to keep an eye on:

-- Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and running backs coach Cale Gundy have been non-committal, repeatedly stating how much they like their running backs. Tonight’s game gives the players the chance to separate themselves on the field against the Golden Hurricane. Sophomore Brennan Clay and junior Dominique Whaley sit atop the depth chart, with Roy Finch sitting at No. 3. Expect all three to get some opportunities, along with freshman Brandon Williams, who could be the best of the bunch.

-- OU receiver Kenny Stills did not participate in warmups with his teammates. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops does not announce suspensions, but Stills likely is suspended because of his arrest on suspicion of DUI in January.

-- With the news late this week that Tulsa cornerback John Flanders (ineligible) won't play, expect the Sooners to test his replacement Milton Howell in the first quarter.

-- Tulsa will be playing without Damaris Johnson, the Golden Hurricane’s leading receiver in 2010. Don’t be surprised if the Sooners blitz Tulsa quarterback G.J. Kinne early and show their confidence that Tulsa’s receivers cannot beat cornerbacks Demontre Hurst and Jamell Fleming in one-on-one situations.

-- Prepare to see Finch and Clay in the slot quite a bit, especially Finch. The sophomore from Niceville, Fla., has been working in the slot during fall camp to allow him to use his special open-field running in one-on-one situations against Golden Hurricane linebackers and safeties. That versatility will allow new offensive coordinator Josh Heupel to have several of OU’s talented running backs on the field at the same time.

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