With time running out and a hole open wide in front of him, Samaje Perine didn’t score a touchdown.
Instead, Perine slid to a knee in a move that will certainly cement his legend.
No, thanks. We don’t need the points, and while we’re at it, feel free to watch us line up in the Victory formation.
Perine left the field after being injured and concurrently fumbling in the second half. He came back and wound up with 239 yards, 204 coming in the second half. According to Oklahoma master statistician Mike Brooks, only five times has an Oklahoma player rushed for 200 yards in a half. Perine has done it on three of those occasions.
And here he was again in a Big 12 championship game, tied at the half, without the team’s best receiver and up against an OSU defense that had to know Perine was now the No. 1 option.
Perine will end up as one of the top running backs in Sooner history. Brooks tells us only Billy Sims, Joe Washington, Adrian Peterson and Steve Owens are the only ones who have more rushing yards at Oklahoma, but there’s something about Perine’s style, rushing and personality wise, that separates him from the others in Sooner history.
He’s not flashy like Sims or Peterson. Not iconic like Steve Owens or Joe Washington. Perine won’t win the Heisman or even be invited to the ceremony, unless he’s a guest of Baker Mayfield’s or possibly Dede Westbrook. What Perine is is quiet and determined, holder of an NCAA rushing record and the hero of Bedlam 2016.
Perine isn’t even like his teammate Joe Mixon, whose wild amounts of talent are darkened by a controversial past, which caused him to miss a season after a violent episode with a female student. That’s what makes his final play against OSU so unique. It’s not like Perine at all.
Part smarts, but a good dose of “lookie here what I just did.” We’ve been watching for Perine for awhile, but what we saw on that last play will be something he’ll be remembered for.