SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- If one position, outside of quarterback, on OU's offensive roster could take a hit before the Fiesta Bowl, it would probably have been the running back position. Unfortunately the hit came when Roy Finch broke his foot during bowl practices. Now it will be up to a talented group of backups, led by senior Mossis Madu, to pick up the slack. SoonerScoop.com talked to Madu in Arizona about the challenge ahead for OU's running back corps.
Well, has it sunk in that this is the last one? I don't know. Me and Pryce Macon were together the other day and we were like, 'man, our days are limited.' We were just talking about it. We've got to go out with a bang though and get this win.
Tell me your reaction when you heard about Roy (Finch) going down and what your approach has been since then, knowing you're going to be a big part of the run game? To tell you the truth, I didn't think too much about it because at the beginning of the season I was a big part of the offense and I was playing good and then I put the ball on the ground against Missouri and that's what really set my time back. I just took it as a thing that this was normal to me. I'm approaching this game like any other game. I'm going to go out there and play as hard as I can, like any other game.
That's kind of one of those stories of the season is that you had the fumbles, you got 'benched' even though nobody likes to use that word, but you came back and had a huge impact before it was all said and done. Can you just talk about how satisfying that was for a senior? Getting benched. Getting 'benched' hurt my pride. It was one of those things where I was just sitting there watching the game and I was just mad because I knew what I could be out there doing. It definitely made me focus a lot harder in practice on carrying the ball high and tight and little things like that. Just coming back and making plays, it sounds fun.
Even though Roy goes down you've got another youngster in Brennan Clay that kind of help you. But I've got to clear this up. Are you guys calling it ponies now? Or is it backs? Or is that something that Brennan is trying to get started? It's ponies. There's little different things, but for the most part it's ponies.
Did that come after the SMU 30 in 30 thing? Oh, that's a good little - nah, it didn't come after that. We called it that the last year. I have no reason why it was backs. It's always been ponies.
Well, talk about Brennan and what he could mean to helping that formation going without Roy? I was actually the pony back because when Roy got hurt and when Brennan had the concussion I was the pony back and that's a lot of running. The formation and going back and forth and all that stuff, that's a lot of running, so it's just good to have a guy like Brennan. Plus, Brennan's faster than me so he can do stuff a lot faster and it's just good to get a young guy in the game to get a lot of experience.
Kind of similar to you, it wasn't the same circumstances, but he's missed a lot having to sit out. This seems like it could be an opportunity for him to breakout, kind of like you did this year? Oh yeah, exactly. He played good for us at the beginning of the season when he was playing. I think he'll go out there and be ready. He'll be wide-eyed at the beginning but he'll settle down and be alright.
Tell me how it's gone with the practices, with the changes in the coaching staff. Has it been a pretty smooth transition for you guys? It's been easy. The only thing that's different is you don't hear Coach Wilson yelling as much. Coach Wilson is a yeller. It's more of Coach Heup running the show and out there conducting things.
Is he just kind of more to himself? You know the wheels are working but you don't hear him as much? Yeah. He knows when he needs to yell and get us together and wake us up and he knows when to sit back and let us be.
You kind of sense that quarterback out of him? Yeah, you really do.
What's been the most fun you've had out here away from the football field? Just hanging out with everybody. I've talked to seniors in the past and they say the thing they missed the most about football is being around all the guys. Here at OU we're a huge family. I know a lot of teams say that but we really are a family. We're all tight, we've all got each other's back and I know I'm going to miss all the guys a lot.
Does it surprise you that the Cali guys just went to the mall and hung out and people watched the other night? Nah. That's not surprising at all. Not at all.