Murray Highlights Scrimmage for Sooners

3-14-07 - Running back DeMarco Murray made his first Oklahoma a scrimmage a memorable one Wednesday afternoon at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The redshirt freshman logged 129 all purpose yards and scored two touchdowns to highlight the offense’s performance.

For OU head coach Bob Stoops, Murray’s performance was one of the few bright spots. Stoops said the enthusiasm that had been present through some of the early spring drills was largely absent in the scrimmage.

“I didn’t expect the execution to be there, but I wasn’t pleased with our lack of overall intensity,” he said. “I’m not very happy.”

One thing Stoops did like was the play of his three quarterbacks, a trio that is vying for the starting job.

“The quarterbacks did a lot of good things,” Stoops said, while not singling out a particular player. “They’re working together as a unit and have a great attitude together.”

Junior Joey Halzle completed 6-of-11 passes for 109 yards and one touchdown. He was intercepted twice. Redshirt freshman Sam Bradford was good on 8-of-14 attempts for 117 yards with one touchdown and one interception. True freshman Keith Nichol was 6-of-8 for 40 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.

Murray’s scoring runs came on a 65-yard sprint and a physical four-yard burst. He carried the ball nine times for 92 yards, while also catching three passes for 37.

“Demarco was very impressive. He has been all along,” Stoops said.”

Another running back, sophomore Chris Brown, also was impressive. He had the most carries, 19, which resulted in 90 yards.

Quentin Chaney led the receivers with five grabs for 35 yards. Brandon Caleb caught three passes for 32 yards and two touchdowns. The top yardage receiver was redshirt freshman Adron Tennell, who had four catches for 88 yards.

The other scoring pass went to tight end Joe Jon Finely.

Linebackers Mike Reed and Lewis Baker topped the tackle statistics with six each. Interceptions were made by D.J. Wolfe, who returned his pick 65 yards for a touchdown, Brian Jackson and Curtis Lofton.

Stoops said he saw too much sloppy tackling from his defensive unit, something he hoped he could attribute to “rust,” but did like the effort of redshirt freshman defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Adrian Taylor.

“Gerald is really doing well,” he said. “Adrian missed some time with an injury, but he’s improving.”

McCoy had five tackles in the scrimmage, while Taylor was credited with two.

On special teams, Garrett Hartley made 10-of-12 field goal attempts with a long of 56 yards. Punter Michael Cohen averaged 39.0 yards on eight kicks, while Mike Knall averaged 39.0 on three.

Stoops said running backs Allen Patrick and Mossis Madu sat out the scrimmage with minor injuries. Both are expected to return at full strength when the team resumes spring practices on March 26.

The next scrimmage is set for March 31 at 11 a.m. The Red/White Spring Game is April 7 at 1 p.m.

OU Scrimmage Statistics

Scoring Plays

Wolfe 65-yard interception return

Murray 65-yard run (Hartley kick)

Murray 4-yard run (Hartley kick)

Finley 30-yard pass from Halzle (Hartley kick)

Caleb 15-yard pass from Bradford (Hartley kick)

Caleb 7-yard pass from Bradford (Hartley kick)

Passing

Halzle 6-11-109, 1 TD, 2 INT

Bradford 8-14-117, 1 TD, 1 INT

Nichol 6-8-40, 1 TD

Receiving

Chaney 5-35

Tennell 4-88

Finley 3-48

Murray 3-37

Caleb 3-32 (2 TD)

Brown 1-13

Johnson 1-13

Rushing

Murray 9-92

Brown 17-90

Gutierrez 9-28

Tackle Leaders

Baker 6

Reed 6

Crow 5

Holmes 5

McCoy 5

Reynolds 5

Pass Deflections

Baker 1

Wolfe 1

Lofton 1

Interceptions

Jackson 1

Lofton 1

Wolfe 1

Sacks

Bennett 2

Davis 1


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