Oct. 28—Let's set the stage for one of the most miraculous running back performances in college football history:
With three conference losses already, the Sooners limped into a 2014 matchup with Kansas. Starting quarterback Trevor Knight and tight end Blake Bell were both forced to miss the game due to injuries and the team's top wide receiver, Sterling Shepard, left the game in the first quarter.
The game was delayed by over an hour due to lightning and with the Sooners playing against a conference bottom-feeder in a downpour in late November, there was little reason for excitement surrounding the game.
Still, plenty of fans remained in their seats with the Sooners leading 41-7 heading into the final quarter.
Just a week earlier, Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon set an NCAA record with 408 yards rushing in a single game against Nebraska. Now, the Sooner faithful wanted to see if a true freshman named Samaje Perine could best it.
On the Sooners' third drive of the fourth quarter, Perine took a hand off up the middle and ran right into the history books. Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops called a timeout to give Perine a curtain call in front of the fans still in attendance.
In 34 carries, Perine rushed for an FBS record 427 yards and five touchdowns in wet, sloppy conditions.
The Sooners only threw the ball 13 times and completed just three of them under backup Cody Thomas. Perine took his first handoff of the game 49 yards to the house to tie Adrian Peterson's freshman touchdown record (15).
By the end of the first half, he had that record too after rushing for 225 yards.
The NCAA record of 406 yards set by TCU's LaDainian Tomlinson lasted for 15 years before it was broken in consecutive weeks. Buffalo's Jaret Patterson came close to re-breaking the record in 2020, rushing for 409 yards on 36 attempts.
His freshman season ranks fifth in school history in total rushing yards with 1,713. His 21 rushing touchdowns that season were the most ever by an OU freshman and tied Steve Owens (1968) for fourth in school history.
Tarik Masri is the sports editor for The Transcript covering OU athletics and area sports. You can reach him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org