Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said Monday that the team’s top two rushers who missed last week’s game against Iowa State, running backs Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine, are expected to play Saturday against No. 17 Baylor in Norman, Okla. (11 a.m., WFAA/Ch. 8).
Mixon returns from a one-game suspension for violation of team rules and Perine has missed the last three games with a leg injury. The two have combined for 1,288 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns this season, with Mixon (813 yards, 5 TDs) ranking as the No. 2 rusher in the Big 12 behind Texas’ D’Onta Foreman.
Stoops said Perine (475 yards, 6 TDs) would practice Monday and, if he has no physical setbacks, will play against the Bears (6-2, 3-2 in Big 12) in his first appearance since he was injured Oct. 15 against Kansas State. No. 14 Oklahoma (7-2, 6-0) enters on a six-game winning streak, including last week’s 34-24 victory over Iowa State when fullback Dimitri Flowers carried 22 times for 115 yards after receiving zero carries in the team’s first eight contests.
OU prevailed last week despite having 14 players from its season-opening depth chart that did not suit up against Iowa State (1-8, 0-6).
“We haven’t talked much about it,” Stoops said. “It’s the next guy up. Whoever is in there, we expect you to play and play at a championship level.”
Stoops said having a Thursday night game against Iowa State should benefit players heading into the Baylor contest because of the additional recovery time and a chance to have a weekend away from football.
“It was almost like having a week off,” Stoops said of the extended break. “I think it will help them a lot.”