HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Lincoln Riley summed it up best Sunday morning when recapping Marquise Brown’s Orange Bowl performance.
“His desire was certainly there,” Riley said. “But it just wasn’t his night.”
Riley and the Oklahoma coaching staff have been quiet on the status of their star receiver ever since he was carted off the sidelines a month ago in the Big 12 Championship game. The injury was described then as “lower-leg.”
Brown said Saturday night that he pulled a muscle in his left foot. He was held catchless on five targets in an Orange Bowl loss to Alabama.
Now that OU’s season is over, Riley opened up about Brown’s injury and explained how limited he was in the weeks leading up to the game.
“We tried to condition him in our pools as much as we could,” Riley said. “We’ve got those treadmills where we can take a lot of that weight off of him, hand bikes, tried to do everything we could. We were worried about the conditioning, and then of course we caught the muggiest night of the entire trip.”
The temperature at Hard Rock Stadium was in the low 80s Saturday night with almost 90 percent humidity.
“I think the conditioning had an effect and we could tell pretty soon he just wasn’t sharp like he normally was,” Riley said. “It was frustrating. He had made some real progress in about the last two or three days. When we left I didn’t know if he was going to be able to play or not.”