One of the debates going on in the land of the red dirt has been about running back DeMarco Murray.
Is he missing a step after offseason surgery to reattach a dislocated kneecap? Is backup Chris Brown actually more productive through four games?
The cumulative statistics don't offer testimony that anything is wrong with Murray. He leads OU with 315 yards rushing and a 6.8-yards-per carry average, has an 84-yard kickoff return. Brown has chipped in 241 at a 5.7-yards-per-carry clip. Both backs will offer a challenge Saturday to TCU's somewhat skewed average per-game rushing yield of 30.5 yards.
But if there is a statistical anomaly, it's that since a 49-yard burst in the season-opening game against Chattanooga, Murray's longest run from scrimmage is 14 yards against Cincinnati. Consider that last season he had runs of 92 and 65 yards and kickoff returns of 91 and 81 yards. With that in mind, offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson thinks Murray is trying too hard to take it to the house on every carry.
"I see him cutting against the grain and trying to find big plays instead of just running," Wilson said. "If you're looking to make a big play, you won't make it. Just like trying to find a four-leaf clover. Sometimes it's right in front of you. You see it even though you're not looking for it.
"He will make more big plays by just playing hard and sticking to it. Like last year at Texas (on Murray 's 65-yard run), he just hit it hard, here's a crease, he jumps over a guy and he's gone."
Wilson is not above speaking publicly about a player he doesn't feel is being as productive as he can. Recall he also called out Adrian Peterson for not being a complete player early in 2006. Peterson found no fault in Wilson's comments and responded accordingly.
Murray did not respond to an interview request after Tuesday's practice. Whether he had another committment or didn't get the word, I don't know. And though most players say they don't read or listen to comments about them or the team, I'll bet Demarco has heard about what Wilson said. Though knowing Wilson, I'd bet he has already imparted his thoughts to his most explosive long-distance runner.
My guess is you'll see Murray's response Saturday night.