Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine will miss at least two weeks of action due to injury. The Sooners running back was hurt last week against Kansas State.
Oklahoma (4-2, 3-0 Big 12) head coach Bob Stoops said on Monday that star running back Samaje Perine has a slightly pulled muscle and will be out at least two weeks, maybe three.
The junior Sooner was sidelined by injury in the first quarter of Saturday’s 38-17 win over Kansas State. Stoops said after the game that Perine was held out for precautionary reasons and could have played “if forced to play.” The hope was that the injury would heal this week. Instead, OU will be without Perine’s services for at least the game this week at Texas Tech and the following week at home against Kansas.
The timeline gets a little tricky after those two contests because OU has a road tilt at Iowa State on Nov. 3, which is a Thursday. We’ll see if Perine will be able to heal by that date. The good news for the Sooners is that games against Baylor, West Virginia and Oklahoma State occur later in the season, so Perine is expected to be back for those tilts.
In the meantime, the injury means that the explosive Joe Mixon will get increased touches for a team that has won three straight games after starting the season 1-2.
“Obviously, Joe will have more of a workload [versus Texas Tech],” Stoops said during Monday’s weekly Big 12 coaches teleconference. “But knowing him, he’ll like that.”
Against K-State last week, Mixon rushed for 88 yards, caught three passes for 34 yards and a touchdown (which was a one-handed effort that featured a hurdle over a defender) and became the first Sooners running back since Joe Washington in 1973 to throw a touchdown pass. His 26-yard scoring toss to Dede Westbrook put the Sooners up by two touchdowns in the second quarter.
Even when Perine comes back to the lineup, Oklahoma needs to make Mixon a big part of its game plan. As Perine’s backup, he came into the game against K-State at No. 4 in the nation at 179 yards per game in all-purpose yards. He had 177 against the Wildcats and finished with a career-high 19 rushes.
The sophomore has rushed for 476 yards and two touchdowns on 79 carries this year, but he only received 15 combined carries in the losses to Houston and Ohio State earlier in the season. That under-utilization will change now that Perine is sidelined.