Oklahoma RB Samaje Perine did an OK job assuming lead back duties in Keith Ford's absence.
Who are we kidding? It was more than OK. In Oklahoma's 45-33 win at West Virginia on Saturday night, Perine became the first Oklahoma freshman RB to run for over 200 yards since Adrian Peterson did it in 2004.
Perine finished the night with 34 carries for 242 yards and four scores.
Ford, Oklahoma's leading rusher through the first three weeks of the season, was hurt during the Sooners' week three win over Tennessee. In his place stepped Perine, who had nearly the same amount of carries (32) as Ford did (34) in Oklahoma's three blowout wins.
With the game tied 24-24 at halftime, Perine became the focus of the Oklahoma offense in the second half. Three of his four TDs came in the final minutes and his night was capped off with a 19-yard score that extended Oklahoma's lead to 45-27 and the game out of reach for West Virginia.
Perine wasn't even the most highly touted running back in Oklahoma's class, either. A 5-11, 243 pound bowling ball out of Pflugerville, Tex., he was a four-star recruit and the No. 13 RB in the class of 2014 according to Rivals. But he was overshadowed by Joe Mixon, the top RB in the country and No. 8 prospect overall.
However, Mixon was suspended for the season after punching a female student in a restaurant over the summer. That meant Perine assumed the top backup role behind Ford, and he clearly proved he's capable of being a feature back. West Virginia defenders almost comically bounced off him at times as he thundered upfield.
While his emergence is a safety net for Ford if he misses a few more games, it's also one for Oklahoma QB Trevor Knight. The breakout performer in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama has been inconsistent throughout his career and Saturday night wasn't a performance to remember.
Sure, Knight got his first career reception, a four-yard TD catch where he was wide open on a reverse pass, but he was 16-29 for 205 yards and an interception throwing the ball. As Oklahoma put the game out of reach, the offense was Perine, Perine and more Perine.
The win was also Bob Stoops' 100th in the Big 12. He's the first coach in conference history to reach triple digits.
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