Here's my take on the status of Big XII Running backs after 7 weeks of play.
1. Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State - 130 yards, 1 TD on 25 carries
Another strong performance from Hunter on the road. The Cowboys ran the ball very well in Lubbock and finished with about 225 yards rushing and 3 rushing touchdowns combined. Joseph Randle is looking better each week and will continue to give the Cowboys a 1-2 punch in the backfield. Jeremy Smith looks solid at the goal line. There is not a better rushing attack in the Big 12. Huge test this week to stay at the top.
2. Demarco Murray , Oklahoma - 112 yards, 2 TD's on 20 carries
Demarco Murray is a touchdown machine. He confirmed that Saturday when he surpassed the all time record for TD's at OU with 58. I'm not huge on Murray as a traditional running back, but you can't argue with the dominance he delivers at the position. He's a solid receiving threat too. He'll have a solid test this weekend at Missouri but I fully expect him to dominate the team from the North that hasn't played anyone nearly as dominant as the Sooners.
3. Roy Helu Jr., Rex Burkhead, Taylor Martinez, Nebraska - 99 yards on 33 carries
Wow. Texas sold out to the run and it worked very, very well. Martinez was a non factor against the speed of the Longhorns. He simply could not get anything going and finished with 21 yards on 13 carries. Helu and Burkhead weren't any better. Part of me thinks this was a bit of a fluke but another part says they padded their stats against cream puffs and couldn't handle the speed of a decent team. We'll see what it is this weekend when the Huskers come to Stilly. Fairly certain Young will follow a similar game plan as Texas and force Martinez to beat them with the pass.
4. Daniel Thomas, Kansas State - 91 yards, 1 TD on 18 carries
Thomas finally gets a touchdown but he didn't have the dominant performance you'd expect from a 59-7 ass kicking. He should have a field day this weekend against a Baylor team that gave up 200 yards rushing to Colorado. He's gonna have to turn it on if he wants to stay at the top with the big dogs.
5. Rodney Stewart, Colorado- 125 yards, 2 TD's on 30 carries
30 carries! Colorado is committed to running the ball and despite them being a horrible team (mostly due to the shitty fake granola fans and not the coach) I actually have a RB bone for Stewart. He's putting together a very solid year (620 yards, 5 TD's) and will have another opportunity to pad stats this week against none other than...Texas Tech! I bet he is excited as shit...
6. Baron Batch, Eric Stephens, Texas Tech- 182 yards, 1 TD on 34 carries
Remember that dink and dunk spread nightmare we used to see from Texas Tech? Yeah, that's not really there anymore. The Red Raiders did however run the ball 34 times and were effective. Coach Tuberville basically said they had to run the ball due to our insane D Line pressure. Batch is a solid running back but Eric Stephens is legit . He'll eventually be a stud Big 12 RB..
7. Christine Michael, Texas A&M - 52 yards on 14 carries
What the hell is going on in College Station? I remember a time when it was a fairly tough place to play and now a team like Missouri goes in and basically shuts them out. Michael only had 14 carries and I have to think the problem starts there. If you can't run the ball, it's hard to pass the ball. Jerrod Johnson was running scared the entire game. Michael did have a decent showing in the passing game with 94 yards on 4 catches - but this isn't a WR ranking. This game provided me with my favorite stat of the week: Jerrod Johnson, 17 carries for 5 yards.
9. Cody Johnson, Texas - 73 yards on 11 carries
Johnson led the way but it was and RBBC with Gilbert, Newton and Whittaker that gained 213 against the "blackshirts" of Nebraska. This is especially encouraging if you're an OSU fan because the Texas rushing game has been fairly terrible up until this point. Hard to imagine Hunter and Randle won't do some damage.
10. James Sims, Kansas- 23 yards on 10 carries
Fucking horrendous. Some guy named A Quigley led the way with 70 yards on 16 carries but most of that came in the fourth quarter with the Jayhawks down 52-7. Don't worry KU fans, basketball starts very, very soon.
11. Jay Finley, Baylor - 143 yards, 2 TD's on 14 carries
Finley went off on the Colorado defense, averaging 10.2 yards per carry. He'll have another opportunity at home this week against Kansas State. You know, the team that gave up 400 yards to Nebraska?
12. Kendial Lawrence, Missouri - 44 yards, 1 TD on 11 carries
Another laughable week for the Missouri rushing game. The joke will be over this weekend when the Sooners come to town. You won't beat a good team without balance. See Nebraska.