Damien Williams was Oklahoma's leading rusher through its first three games, but remained Dominique Whaley's backup — officially, at least.
That changed Saturday, when he started OU's 41-20 win at Texas Tech and was the Sooners' go-to guy out of the backfield from the very first series.
“It felt great, just knowing that I'm gonna be that guy,” Williams said. “They're putting more carries on me and letting me do more with the ball.
“They told me last minute, ‘You're gonna be the guy. Be prepared to do your assignments.'”
Williams carried the ball 14 times for 48 yards, but he made a bigger impact in the Sooners' passing game — catching six passes for 82 yards, including a long of 38 yards.
Whaley's only two carries came back-to-back in the second quarter; the second was for 18 yards and moved the Sooners to Tech's 1-yard line.
On the next play, backup quarterback Blake Bell entered the game scored to give OU a 14-10 lead. The Sooners didn't trail again after that.
That Williams' first start came in Lubbock is interesting because it was almost his home; the junior-college transfer from Arizona Western took his college decision all the way to signing day last February, and the final two schools he chose from Oklahoma and Texas Tech.
“I'm with the team that I'm with, and I'm happy to be with my team,” Williams said of the game between his final two college choices. “It didn't really matter.”
NEAL, BESTER MAKE GRABS; METOYER HELD WITHOUT ONE
Trey Metoyer, the true freshman receiver expected to be an instant superstar, continued the slow start to his Oklahoma career Saturday, making no catches in Lubbock.
On OU's first drive, Metoyer dropped a sure 13-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Landry Jones.
Two plays later, Jones found senior Penn State transfer Justin Brown for a touchdown, his first as a Sooner.
Two first-year Sooners made their first career catches Saturday. True freshman Durron Neal caught two passes — both on the same second-quarter drive — for 38 yards, including a 25-yard grab.
Junior Lacoltan Bester, who transferred to OU from East Mississippi Community College, also made his first career grab, a 10-yarder midway through the third quarter.
SHANNON, FRANKLIN, WILSON SEE INCREASED TIME
Oklahoma began Saturday's game in a dime package, with six defensive backs and just one linebacker.
It was a set the Sooners stayed in for much of the game, with sophomore Julian Wilson playing in the sixth defensive back spot and the linebacker frequently rotated between Tom Wort, Corey Nelson, Frank Shannon and Aaron Franklin.