NORMAN — Jaz Reynolds has been anxious to play a key role for the Sooners. Saturday night he finally got his opportunity.
After sitting out last season after he made insensitive Twitter comments, Reynolds had the best game of his career in Oklahoma's 38-28 win over Missouri.
With Kenny Stills sitting out with concussion-like symptoms, and Trey Franks serving an indefinite suspension for violating team rules, Reynolds made his first career start.
The Houston product responded with five catches for 93 yards.
“It was more of a relief,” Reynolds said. “I've been ready for it, been preparing. I've been helping Kenny and Ryan prepare for games. This week was my time to get prepared... I am so happy right now.”
Reynolds didn't know until Thursday night he would get this much playing time. Franks was suspended on Tuesday. Stills suffered his injury in the second half last week at Florida State but it wasn't believed to be serious.
“He just had some symptoms show up late in the week,” said coach Bob Stoops. “Doctors didn't feel he should go. We didn't really find that out until Thursday night. It was on that sliding catch he took a forearm to the head. He was fine during the game. He just had a few symptoms during the week.”
Reynolds played well in the spring and the fall but he was the Sooners' No. 5 receiver. With Stills and Franks unavailable he instantly became a starter.
“Jaz has been anxious to get back out there,” said star receiver Ryan Broyles. “He was in the rotation last week but didn't get to play much. Kenny had to sit out this game and (Jaz) was ready. He was like, ‘I'm coming after you.' It shows how much he really wanted it.”
Reynolds' highlight-reel play was a 39-yard catch midway through the second quarter on third-and-seven deep in Sooner territory.
“That was a big momentum switch,” Stoops said. “He catches a go-route on third down. He did a nice job beating his guy, holding the outside edge to give himself room to catch it. And Landry (Jones) threw a great ball.”
The catch sparked an 80-yard touchdown drive that gave OU its first lead, a lead the Sooners would not relinquish.
“I'm more relieved that I've still got it,” Reynolds said. “I never had any doubts. But this was really my first game back in a long time. I didn't know how the fans would accept me. If I messed up would they boo me?
“There was a lot going through my head. But after the first catch it just started rolling.”
Broyles, an All-American, remains OU's top target. He had another monster game Saturday night with 13 catches for 154 yards and three touchdowns.
Stills set freshman receiving records last season and was the offensive star last week in the win at Florida State.
Dejuan Miller is the senior who has earned the third starting slot.
Franks, another sophomore who played well last year as a true freshman, was the No. 4 receiver.
Reynolds had 13 catches for 256 yards his freshman year but fell back on the depth chart after his Twitter post following a shooting on the University of Texas campus.
“It was humbling, having to sit out a whole year,” Reynolds said. “All the way back to high school, I never had to sit out more than a couple of plays. I had to sit out an entire year. I learned a lot from it.”
Reynolds proved what OU coaches have said for months — the Sooners are deep and talented at receiver.
“I've been talking Jaz up in the spring and summer that he's show he can be really dependable,” Stoops said. “Dejuan (also) had a nice day. We have other guys. And Kenny will be back.”