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.
TARGETING CALL DRAWS CRITICISM
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.”
SONS OF SOONERS SHINE
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.
BELL GOES THE DISTANCE
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.
Stoops said he considered going with backup Kendal Thompson in that situation but ultimately decided against it in favor of giving Bell more game experience.
“Bottom line: we wanted to get Blake as many snaps as possible leading up to a bye week and then going on the road,” Stoops said.
After a bye week, OU goes to Notre Dame on Sept. 28.
Thompson was cleared to return to practice Monday after breaking his foot on opening day of camp in August.
Stoops said Thompson was ready to play if needed.
FRESHMAN FORD IMPRESSIVE
Many questioned the wisdom of playing true freshman running back Keith Ford this season and burning a potential redshirt year, especially with Oklahoma's strong, deep group of running backs.
Ford, though, is already working his way up the depth chart past older players.
“He's a wrecking ball,” Bob Stoops said.
He recorded seven carries for 46 yards and a touchdown on Saturday.
“You guys questioned whether or not we should play Keith,” said co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel. “We've been watching him for four weeks of training camp. He's an explosive football player. … We've got a good stable of running backs, and we're going to need all of those guys to go through the season.”
SELLOUT STREAK EXTENDED
Even with large blocks of empty bleachers in the student section, the Sooners kept their sellout streak alive with an announced attendance of 84,229.
The sellout was the 89th consecutive for the Sooners, breaking the previous longest streak for OU.
The streak began with Bob Stoops' debut at Gaylord Family-Memorial Stadium.
REYNOLDS GETS CAUGHT
Reynolds' 82-yard reception midway through the first quarter was the longest non-scoring catch and fifth-longest non-scoring play in Sooners history.
After the game, Reynolds was still shaking his head that Walker Jr. chased him down.
“I looked up at the jumbotron, I tried to make the cut but it was five yards too late,” Reynolds said. “We ended up kicking the field goal so I felt worse. I was pretty sick on the sideline.”
Reynolds said he expected to hear about that from teammates for the next few days.
“The guys aren't going to spare me at all,” Reynolds said. “They're still going to get me.”
Reynolds catch was the longest play for the Sooners since Cameron Kenney's 86-yard touchdown catch against Oklahoma State in 2010.
The win was Bob Stoops' 152nd, moving him six victories away from passing Barry Switzer for most coaching wins in school history. … OU is 78-1 when scoring 40 or more points under Stoops. … Roy Finch's 48-yard run in the fourth was the Sooners' longest rush of the season. … Frank Shannon tied a career high with eight tackles by halftime. He finished with 10, a team-high. … Freshman linebacker Dominique Alexander made his first career start, joining Stanvon Taylor as defenders starting for the first time. … Sophomore Durron Neal caught a career-long 41-yard pass in the second quarter and finished with career highs in catches (four) and yards (64). … After sitting out last week against West Virginia, junior college transfer Quincy Russell saw action early against Tulsa.