The Ojuri Omen
As the Season Wears Along, Ojuri is Just Getting Started
Published: Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 16:11
Let’s be honest, this Bison team doesn’t have what a lot of cool kids are calling “swagger.” Even though it has been proven time-and-time again, to play at a high level, “swag” is a necessary attribute. However, it doesn’t always need to be blatant. Peyton Manning might have the most “swag” out of any QB in the NFL, but it’s almost unnoticeable. After all, he is the last person you would see “Gronking” after a touchdown. He knows he’s good and he’d rather just show you, rather than tell you. But there is nothing wrong with showing your confidence every once in a while too, and that’s what the Bison have in running back Sam Ojuri.
Ojuri doesn’t say much or celebrate after a big play, but believe me; he knows he’s the real deal. After his first career start concluded with a brutal beat-down of St. Francis last year, I was attending a small social get-together with friends. We’re having a good time when all of a sudden Ojuri walks in and was instantly mobbed with congratulations for his performance on the field just hours before hand.
If you all remember last year’s St. Francis game, Ojuri broke the record for longest offensive play from scrimmage in school history with a 95-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
So my buddy promptly goes up to Ojuri and lets him know, saying, “Hey man, nice run today.”
At that moment Ojuri pauses with mysterious look on his face and then asks, “Which one?”
It was perfect, exactly the kind of confidence the Bison need from the running back position. The kid knows he’s good and is willing to impose his will on defenders at any given moment. Give him the ball, and wait for something special to happen. It’s everything you could ask for out of a back. Ojuri showed us flashes of this throughout the season last year, especially near the end.
Last year Ojuri ran for a total of 1,105 yards, had five 100-plus yard games and scored eleven touchdowns. This season, through eight games he has rushed for 554 yards and has eight total touchdowns, but on 46 more attempts than he had at this time last season.
The second half of last year is when Ojuri really turned it on. In the last seven games in 2011, he ran for 615 yards, had four of his five 100-plus yard games and scored nine of his eleven touchdowns. And we can’t forget he did all of that sharing carries with one of the greatest backs of all time at NDSU, D.J. McNorton.
So can we expect more production from Ojuri as the season goes along? I say yes. Not only can we bank on him having better production, but it’s coming at a time where we desperately need it. John Crockett is suffering from a lingering hip injury and Brock Jensen’s recent struggles throwing the ball have put a wrench in the well-oiled Bison offensive machine.
Ojuri is coming off his only hundred-yard game of the season versus Missouri State, where he received a career high 24 carries. More carries will equal more production from our star running back, which will make him the most important part of our offense with the playoffs just around the corner.
Running the ball has been the Bison’s bread and butter for years and I expect nothing to change as we welcome South Dakota State this weekend in the battle for the always-elusive Dakota Marker trophy.
Swag out young man, we all know the offense is going nowhere without you.