NORMAN — Damien Williams did it all Saturday night in Oklahoma’s 69-13 win over Florida A&M at Gaylord Family — Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
The junior running back scored rough-and-tumble touchdowns and flashy ones; he sprinted for long-yardage scores and plunged through Rattler defenders for short ones.
All told, the junior-college transfer carried the ball 10 times; four of those touches ended with Williams celebrating in the end zone. His 156 rushing yards are the most-ever by an Oklahoma player in his home debut.
In each of No. 5 Oklahoma’s first two games this season, he’s busted off long, second-half touchdowns; Saturday’s was an 89-yard score in the third quarter.
“If I see daylight, I feel like I’m gone,” Williams said. “If somebody catches me, I’m gonna pat them on the head and say, ‘Good job, but you’re gonna have to keep doing it.’”
But Williams wasn’t just a flash back Saturday, and the emergence of a such a big, strong runner could mean a decreased dependence on the short-yardage package known as the Belldozer, in which second-team quarterback Blake Bell enters, takes the snap and plows forward for first downs or touchdowns.
The Sooners began using the Belldozer last season after starters Dominique Whaley and Ryan Broyles were lost to season-ending injuries. Bell scored 11 of OU’s last 14 touchdowns of the 2011 season and quickly became a fan favorite.
Saturday, OU went to the Belldozer just twice. Both attempts came in the first half, and the first try — on OU’s first offensive possession — failed when Bell was stopped for a 1-yard loss.
“Damien’s ability to have some strength, running through some trash is something that’s a positive for us,” said co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel.
Early Saturday, the Rattlers (0-2), a Football Championship Subdivision school, went blow-for-blow with the Sooners; the teams exchanged punts to open the game — and, unlike FAMU, Oklahoma couldn’t muster a first down on its opening series.
But on the Sooners’ second drive, quarterback Landry Jones completed back-to-back passes for first downs; the second was a slick one-handed grab across the middle by Kenny Stills, who held onto the ball despite sustaining a vicious blow that resulted in a 15-yard penalty.