Billy Sims, a 6-0, 205-pound running back from Hooks, Texas, swept through defenses like a tornado flying across the Oklahoma landscape.
He set a Big Eight single-season rushing record in 1978 with 1,896 yards on 256 carries. Sims led the nation in rushing, averaging more than 7.0 yards per carry. He topped the 200-yard mark in four different games (a school best) during the 1978 season.
Sims led the Sooners to an 11-1 record, Orange Bowl championship and third-place finish in the final poll. OU opened with a 35-29 win over Stanford and then crushed West Virginia and Rice by a combined score of 118-17.
The Sooners rolled over Texas and the first five games of the conference schedule heading into the Nebraska game. Sims ran for 153 yards, but it was not enough as the Sooners fell, 17-14.
OU responded by clubbing Oklahoma State, 62-7, and then was rematched with the Cornhuskers in the Orange Bowl. OU edged Nebraska 31-24 in the second meeting between the top-10 schools. Sims is second in the OU record books for rushing yards in a season (1,896), most 200-yard games in a season (4) and a career (7). He finished his career with 4,118 yards and stands first on the all-time rushing list.
*injured and granted additional year of eligibility
1978 HEISMAN TROPHY VOTING TOTALS
|1. Billy Sims, Jr., RB, Oklahoma||827 Points (151 1st, 152 2nd, 70 3rd place votes)|
|2. Chuck Fusina, Sr., QB, Penn State||750|
|3. Rick Leach, Sr., QB, Michigan||435|
|4. Charles White, Jr., TB, Southern California||354|
|5. Charles Alexander, Sr., TB, Louisiana State||282|
|6. Ted Brown, Sr., RB, North Carolina State||82|
|7. Steve Fuller, Sr., QB, Clemson||82|
|8. Eddie Lee Ivery, Sr., RB, Georgia Tech||81|
|9. Jack Thompson, Sr., QB, Washington State||72|
|10. Jerry Robinson, Sr., LB, UCLA||70|