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December 16, 2008The Oklahoma Sooners will be without one of their most explosive offensive weapons when the Sooners take on the Florida Gators on Jan. 8th, for the BCS National Championship game in Miami, Fla.
OU running back Demarco Murray will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a partially ruptured hamstring tendon in his left leg which was suffered during the opening kickoff in the Big 12 Championship game back on Dec. 6th.
An MRI revealed the rupture after University of Oklahoma trainers initially diagnosed the injury as a bruise.
"Obviously we're very disappointed for DeMarco," said Bob Stoops in a statement released by OU. "He has been an important part of our success this year and we will miss his contributions. DeMarco has had an incredible year.
"With Chris Brown and Mossis Madu, we still have two very fine backs. Our team has a lot of confidence in their abilities."
It marks the second consecutive year Murray has been lost after suffering an injury on special teams.
In 2007, Murray dislocated his right knee cap covering an onside kick against Texas Tech late in the regular season. This year he suffered the hamstring rupture returning the opening kickoff against Missouri.
Head Athletics Trainer Scott Anderson says Murray will require five months of rehabilitation before he can return to the field.
Without Murray, the Sooners will turn to Chris Brown and Mossis Madu to carry the load at running back in the national championship game. Brown rushed for 1,010 yards this season, which was just eight yards more than Murray who rushed for 1,002 yards.
Murray never returned to action during the Big 12 Championship game after suffering the injury on the game's opening kickoff, but Brown and Madu both had big games. Brown rushed for 122 yards on 27 carries while Madu picked up 114 yards on 15 carries.
But Murray was the most explosive weapon out of the Sooner backfield and was a bigger pass receiver for quarterback Sam Bradford. Murray had 395 receiving yards and he tallied 774 yards as a kickoff returner.
He was also second on the team with 18 touchdowns and third in points scored with 108.