Finch Dazzles in His Debut

OU running back Roy Finch

NORMAN – The No. 6 Sooners had two options when freshman running back Roy Finch went down with a hairline fracture in his left leg prior to the season's first game: redshirt him or wait for him to recover and play him.

They chose the latter, and that choice paid off in the Sooners' 52-0 victory over the Iowa State Cyclones on Saturday. Finch ran for 92 yards on 16 attempts and broke off four runs of more than 10 yards in his collegiate debut.

And Finch made an immediate impact when he entered the game in the second quarter. His first run went for five yards, his second went for 13 and his third went for 17 to total 35 yards.

"The first play was crazy," Finch said. "The adrenaline is rushing; the fans are screaming your name and stuff like that. You just want to go out there and play your game."

In Finch's eyes, his game was a work in progress even though his teammates saw signs of great things to come when they first saw him run in two-a-days, which he called one of the toughest experiences he has ever gone through.

"Two-a-days was the hardest time of my life," Finch said. "I wanted to go home, I was crying every day. It was something I had to build on and become a man. I had to grow up."

And boy did this freshman grow up by showing that getting used to game speed was not an issue.

"I didn't really see a difference in speed because in practice I practice fast," Finch said. "So when the game comes, it's not really a shock to me whenever I get the ball. The speed of the game is a little different than high school and I kind of adjusted to it during two-a-days against one of the best defenses in the country."

During the bye week defensive players compared Finch's style of running and quick moves to former USC back Reggie Bush, and the Niceville, Fla., native proved that his teammates were not exaggerating.

"He's a home-run hitter," said senior running back DeMarco Murray, whose three touchdowns Saturday put him atop the program's total touchdown record with 58. "There's no telling what he can do whenever he gets the ball. So, we definitely need that in the backfield."

It is not like Finch's performance is going to give him the starting job--that job safely belongs to Murray--or the guaranteed No. 2 role in the running backs corps, but the fact that he got a good number of snaps and he became the premier back in the second half following senior running back Mossis Madu's lost fumble should give some indication on how much the Sooners' coaching staff likes and trusts Finch.

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