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Surprises and Underachievers: The best and worst of Oklahoma against Florida A&M

by Stephanie Kuzydym Modified: April 18, 2013 at 4:47 pm •  Published: September 9, 2012

One name. Damien Williams. Write it down and read up on him. He was the star of last week’s surprises and underachievers and he’s the star of this week too. Why? Because Dom Whaley is supposed to be healthy, yet somehow Williams is grabbing all the headlines, yardage and touchdown numbers.

Yes, my bold prediction said Whaley would grab all the numbers. Go bold or go home.

However, Williams 156-yard performance against the Rattlers was the most for a home debut in Oklahoma history. Who’s performance did Williams jump over? Oh, Dom Whaley’s 131 yards last year against Tulsa.

Williams finished the night with 10 carries for 156 yards and four touchdowns. That’s means he’s had five total touchdowns in two games…

More Surprises:

Oklahoma wide receiver Justin Brown (19) celebrates with Lacoltan Bester (18) and Oklahoma defensive back Jesse Paulsen (42) after a long return against Florida A&M in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. (Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman)
Oklahoma wide receiver Justin Brown (19) celebrates with Lacoltan Bester (18) and Oklahoma defensive back Jesse Paulsen (42) after a long return against Florida A&M in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. (Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman)
  • Justin Brown’s punt returns - This same thing made it on the underachievers list last week when Brown had only three punt returns for 30 yards. This week, Justin Brown had a 43-yard return and a 62-yard return (his career best). He almost had a punt return for a touchdown but he stepped on that silly white line that happens to border the field. He should really learn not to do that. Anyways, that punt return was the longest by a Sooner since Broyles’ 87-yarder against Oklahoma State in 2009 (that one was for a touchdown).So now Brown becomes the 12th player under Bob Stoops with 100+ punt return yards in a game. Now, who says the man needs to hire a special teams coach? And last history stat about JB’s punt returns – his 102 yards is tied at the 19th-most punt return yards in a game in Sooners history.
  • Blake Bell’s arm - We know this kid can run. He’s known for the quarterback keeper, but his arm is another question. Bell went four of five for 61 yards, and his longest pass was 28 yards. So, if his run game is packaged as the Belldozer, what will Stoops package his passing game?
  • Roy Finch saw the field and scored- Now, we really weren’t quite sure if this was ever going to happen again. Not because of Finch, but because of the way Stoops handled the question at last week’s media press conference. When the media asked Stoops why Roy Finch didn’t play, he asked if we wanted him to also tell us about the 90 other players who didn’t see the field.Well, No. 22 had five carries for 50 yards, and scored. That means he scored just as many touchdowns as Dominique Whaley, who Stoops made a clear point was the starter if we remembered. And Finch also didn’t have a flag thrown against him, but that’s for another part of this blog. Maybe Roy Finch just can’t stay off Twitter. He rejoined the social media site this week (after taking a break before the game against the Miners). Anyways, Sooners fans were happy tweeting away about their Finch sightings.

And now for the underachievers

  • Defensive players making mistakes that lead to touchdowns - Last week it was Chuka Ndulue not knowing that once he set himself, he could move on a punt to help block Tress Way while he was trying to do work. Instead, Way’s punt was blocked and taken in for a touchdown. This week, Jesse Paulsen came in for an injured Tony Jefferson and didn’t go deep in coverage which left Demontre Hurst trying to catch Florida A&M before they got to the end zone. Didn’t happen. Is the difference between the starters and the backups on defense and special teams really that severe? Is that why the offensive line is struggling – because former starters Ben Habern and Tyler Evans are out? R.J.Washington even laughed about a mistake he made in post-game press conferences. Everyone makes mistakes, sure but did this defense not really learn that any mistake can cause you to lose to Baylor, Oklahoma State or Texas Tech?
  • Blake Bell’s legs –  This man is known for his ability to push through a defender to make the conversion on third-and-short or goal-line situations. Instead, he ended up with five carries for -2 yards. What?
  • Stoops’ choice in Trey Millard – Isn’t the slogan ‘Give it to Millard, he’ll fix it?’ Is that why starting fullback Millard ended up with only two touches for 30 yards and a back-up running like Brennan Clay rushed eight times for 62 yards for two touchdowns. If we really break that down, I think the slogan would likely say “Give it to Millard, he’ll fix it.”

Other notables

  • Sophomore linebacker Aaron Franklin sacked the quarterback for the first time in his college career.
  • Senior defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland had two sacks on the quarterback Saturday night. They are the first two sacks as a Sooner.
  • OU’s rushing game compiled 349 yards. That’s the third largest amount under Stoops.
  • Damien Williams and Dom Whaley both carried the ball 10 times: Williams for 156 yards and four touchdowns; Whaley for 63 yards and one touchdown.
  • JUCO transfer Lacoltan Bester, freshman Sterling Shepard and junior Marshall Musil recorded their first OU receptions
  • OU rushed for eight touchdowns. That’s the most in the Stoops Era.

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by Stephanie Kuzydym
Reporter
Stephanie Kuzydym learned at a young age that life is a game of inches. That's just one reason why she loves football. Kuzydym joined The Oklahoman in July 2012. Before arriving in the state, Kuzydym was an intern for the sports departments at...
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