MANHATTAN, Kan. — Oklahoma coaches didn't want to use cornerback Aaron Colvin any more than they had to at Kansas State on Saturday.
Colvin entered the game battered and bruised, especially his right shoulder. Colvin hadn't practiced for much of the two-and-a-half weeks since injuring it against Baylor.
But while the Sooners might not have wanted Colvin to play much against the Wildcats, it quickly became apparent they needed him to.
Colvin gutted it out, being matched up with former Tulsa Washington star Tyler Lockett for much of the second half after Lockett had torched the Sooners in the first half. Colvin helped keep keep Lockett somewhat in check during the second half of the Sooners' 41-31 win at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
“We were trying to protect him,” Sooners defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “It was his decision to play and nobody else's. It was strictly up to him.”
Oklahoma sold out to stop the run early and Lockett found plenty of room to roam in the secondary, catching touchdowns of 48, 30 and 90 yards in the first half.
Cortez Johnson started opposite Zack Sanchez at corner, with Colvin only coming on in spot situations.
“You're real frustrated, especially at yourself giving up a big play like that,” Sanchez said. “But the guys they rally around you. The game wasn't over.”
After hauling in six catches for 206 yards and three touchdowns before the half, Lockett had six for 72 yards and no scores after halftime.
It was far from perfect, but it was exactly what the Sooners needed.
“That's Aaron Colvin for you,” Sanchez said. “For the people that probably doubted him before, he probably opened people's eyes. He came on in the second half and followed Lockett. … He caught a couple passes but nothing big like they did the first half and we credit Slick (Colvin) for a lot of that.”
Colvin reaggravated his shoulder late but stayed in the game.
As he walked off the field after the game, Colvin's right arm hung limply by his side and he was clearly in pain.
“He probably wasn't anywhere close to 100 percent, but it tells you a lot about his toughness — his character — and we knew we needed him to win this game,” Stoops said.
Colvin wasn't made available for interviews.
“If you guys could please send prayers this way it would be much appreciated! Thank you guys,” Colvin tweeted after the team left the stadium.