Stopping Anderson a priority for TCU defense
NORMAN (AP) Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson's rise from two season-ending injuries to become one of the nation's most productive backs has surprised even those closest to him.
The redshirt sophomore suffered a knee injury early in the 2015 season and a neck injury in fall camp in 2016, and he didn't even start the first half of this season. Since Oct. 21 against Kansas State, his first game in a featured role, he leads Power Five players and is second nationally with 1,041 yards from scrimmage.
Oklahoma left tackle Orlando Brown knew Anderson was talented but he didn't foresee this explosion.
"Straight up. I didn't expect it," Brown, an Outland Trophy finalist, said. "I told him, `Man, I didn't think you were completely capable of this.' Obviously, he was able to get over his injury, and he's came a long way and he's only going to get better. Have a ton of respect for him. I was wrong."
In the game that pushed him into the spotlight, Anderson gained 290 yards from scrimmage and scored four touchdowns during a 38-20 win over TCU. He will be a priority for TCU's defense in the rematch when his second-ranked Sooners (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) face the 10th-ranked Horned Frogs (10-2, 7-2) in the Big 12 Championship game Saturday at AT&T Stadium.
"We've got to tackle the running backs," TCU coach Gary Patterson said. "We did a poor job (the first time), and one of the reasons is a good player, is Rodney Anderson. You don't tackle very well, then you're going to have a hard time playing good defense. So you defend that, you defend the deep ball, you've got a chance."