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 Pass-happy Big 12 also has some pretty good running combos
10/13/2016
 

The Big 12 has long had a reputation for big-play passing offenses, but there are also some impressive running combos in the conference this year. Besides No. 11 Baylor, No. 19 Oklahoma and Texas haven't been single-handed in piling up more than 200 yards on the ground a game. 

While an injured right knee has Chris Warren III out for Texas, the Longhorns still have Big 12 rushing leader D'Onta Foreman, who is also second nationally with 149 yards rushing per game. Oklahoma has Samaje Perine, the Big 12's leading rusher as a freshman two seasons ago, and all-around standout Joe Mixon.
 
Among the duel threats: 
 
     SHOCK FACTOR
 
In the game after Shock Linwood broke Baylor's career rushing record that had stood for 35 years, he had only two carries for 4 yards against Oklahoma State on Sept. 24. The senior likely re-established himself as the Bears' top runner among their trio with a career-high 237 yards at Iowa State before an open date.
 
Baylor coach Jim Grobe says Linwood is finally the guy everyone was talking about. Linwood says he was motivated by what happened in the last home game, and admitted being "pretty upset" after barely touching the ball against Oklahoma State. But he clearly took to heart the message about practicing better.
 
The Bears lead the Big 12 with 290 yards rushing per game - 12 yards more than their passing average.
 
     LONGHORN LEGS
 
Even with a pulled abdominal muscle, Foreman ran for 159 yards and two touchdowns Saturday against Oklahoma, when the Longhorns were without the injured Warren for the first time.
 
Offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert says the Longhorns are excited to have D'Onta Foreman. The deceptively quick 249-pound junior wasn't completely healthy early this season but was determined and battled for the yards that he picked up.
 
Both Foreman and Chris Warren III got banged up in the Oct. 1 game at Oklahoma State. Warren, still third in the Big 12 with 91.5 yards per game, is out 6-8 weeks after running 10 times for 106 yards before halftime against the Cowboys. Foreman had 148 yards in that game.
 
     BOOMER SOONER
 
Samaje Perine ran for a season-high 214 yards in the Red River Rivalry game against Texas, on 35 carries without negative yards on any of those. It was Perine's 12th career 100-yard game , trailing only Linwood's 15 for the most by an active Big 12 player.
 
Joe Mixon had been the Sooners' leading rusher - at least stats-wise - before then. Mixon averages 77.6 yards rushing per game (eighth in the Big 12), and 6.5 yards per carry. He's also second on the Sooners with 15 catches, and is their primary kick returner.
 
After missing spring practice following left ankle surgery to repair torn ligaments, Perine's rushing total has increased each game this season. He is now second in the Big 12 with 92.2 yards per game. Coach Bob Stoops says Perine is getting his rhythm back.
 
 

© The Associated Press
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