By early in the fourth quarter of Kansas’ 44-7 loss to Oklahoma, Sooners coach Bob Stoops was left wondering whether freshman running back Samaje Perine should still be in the game. The Sooners were well on their way to a blowout victory, and Perine was well over 300 yards rushing for the day.
But then somebody on the Oklahoma sideline mentioned that Perine was just 38 yards short of the NCAA FBS single-game rushing record of 408 yards, set last week by Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon.
“It just got to that point where we were thinking about resting him,” Stoops said. “And then somebody said he only needs 38 more yards. That’s too close not to do it, and there is still way too much time left in the game.”
Perine, too, was cool with resting the rest of the way. (“We have some more great backs that can get it done,” he said.) But his offensive linemen and teammates wanted the record, too.
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Perine returned to the game and claimed the record, finishing with 427 yards. He also smashed the Oklahoma school record of 294 yards, set by former Sooners star Greg Pruitt. That performance came against K-State.
“Perine was just sensational,” Stoops said. “That guy is just so exceptional in every thing he does.”
▪ Stoops began his postgame press conference by offering unsolicited praise for Kansas interim coach Clint Bowen.
“I would still like to compliment Clint Bowen and his staff,” Stoops said. “I know today was a tough day, but they have done an excellent job of bringing their attitude back and playing hard. They just beat Iowa State two weeks ago and played a great game against TCU. I really think a lot of Clint and the way he’s handled that team.”
▪ The Jayhawks’ only touchdown came on a 63-yard fumble recovery by safety Cassius Sendish with 13:34 left in the third quarter. It was the third time this season that Kansas’ offense failed to score a touchdown. The Jayhawks lost 41-3 to Duke on Sept. 13 and were shut out 23-0 against Texas on Sept. 27.