Statistically Speaking: Rodney Anderson helps Oklahoma dominate biggest face off yet

Gregory Eng

Before this season, Rodney Anderson had been watching a lot of games from the Sooners sideline. In 2015 and 2016, he had one carry for five yards ... in the first game of the 2015 season. He had to pick up his production if Oklahoma had playoff ambitions at all. Then at the start of the year, it looked as if Anderson wouldn't be that starting running back they hoped he would become.

In the four games during the month of September, Anderson accumulated a total of 32 rushing yards on 11 carries, with one of those rushes being for a touchdown. Not exactly ideal numbers, especially when the Sooners needed a running back to support Baker Mayfield. After Oklahoma's loss to Iowa State, Anderson started to find his way against Texas with 10 carries for 48 yards and a score. From that game on, Anderson became the main running back, taking on a strong majority of the team's work on the ground and excelling.


In three games after Oklahoma faced Texas, Anderson rushed for an average of 146 yards while scoring in each contest. He turned into a workhorse of a running back, averaging more than 20 carries a game and establishing a solid running game for the Sooners. All of that led to a big test against TCU, the sixth-ranked team in the College Football Playoff standings with one of the best defenses in the nation.

TCU had been on fire on defense, as they hadn’t allowed a full team to rush for more than 100 yards since playing Western Virginia in the beginning of October. Anderson stepped up to the challenge and finished the game with 151 rushing yards and two touchdowns, but that’s not the whole story. He also caught five passes for 139 yards and two more scores in an overall explosion for the sophomore from Texas.

Against a team that was nearly unstoppable on defense, with a Heisman candidate on his team, Anderson was the story of the game. He had never scored twice on the ground, never passed 50 yards receiving, and never score twice receiving in game. Then he did all that in one game. Impressive, Anderson.

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