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Oklahoma football notebook: Damien Williams suspended, expected back for Notre Dame game

by Ryan Aber Published: September 14, 2013

Oklahoma senior running back Damien Williams did not play in Saturday's 51-20 win over Tulsa after being suspended for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

“He didn't suit up,” Sooners coach Bob Stoops said. “He was suspended for team matters. He will be back this week.”

Through the first two games, Williams had run for 161 yards on 37 carries.

In Williams' place, Roy Finch carried eight times, more than doubling his carries through the first two games, and freshman Keith Ford carried seven times.


After the game, Sooners defensive coordinator Mike Stoops was still agitated about the targeting penalty assessed to Gabe Lynn late in the first quarter.

Lynn's ejection was overturned after review but the penalty, which gave the Golden Hurricane first and goal at the 6, stood.

“My deal is he went in with his shoulder, you know what I mean?” Stoops said afterward. “I thought he hit him clean with his shoulder. Did he or didn't he? Did he hit him with his head?”

It was Lynn's shoulder that caught Tulsa running back Trey Watts.

“There's an overreaction to all of this,” Stoops said. “That's what you're afraid of--as coaches, as players--you're scared. That's what we teach them to go low and maybe he targeted too high.

“I thought it was a clean hit.”


Kendal Thompson didn't play, but three other sons of former Sooner stars played Saturday and made huge plays.

OU sophomore Sterling Shepard and his dad, the late Derrick Shepard, graced the cover of the game program and the game ticket. Sterling Shepard had eight catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns.

“I grabbed him after the game, told him, ‘I was extremely proud of you,'” said OU offensive coordinator Josh Heupel. “Great day for him to play that way.”

Tulsa's Trey Watts, the son of wishbone quarterback J.C. Watts, had a 77-yard punt return, carried 14 times for 60 yards and a touchdown, and had five catches for 65 yards.

TU's Darnell Walker Jr., the son of OU's cornerback from the early 1990s and Tulsa's current defensive backfield coach, chased down Sooner Jaz Reynolds and tackled him at the 4-yard line in what was an 82-yard completion. The Sooners settled for a field goal.

Thompson, the son of wishbone quarterback Charles Thompson, was OU's backup quarterback after being sidelined six weeks with a broken foot.


Even with the Sooners up big in the fourth quarter, starting quarterback Blake Bell remained in the game, piloting a touchdown drive that spanned more than five minutes late in the quarter.

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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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