NORMAN â€” After celebrating his 59-yard touchdown catch on Saturday by jumping and spiking the ball, Kenny Stills might not have known what was coming next.
But a few yards behind him, fellow Oklahoma receiver Ryan Broyles sure did â€” well before the official even reached for his flag.
After all, it was only a year ago Broyles felt the wrath of a Bob Stoops tsunami for similar transgressions.
â€œI saw Kenny jump, and I was like, â€˜Oh no, here it goes,'â€ Broyles said, before laughing.
â€œWhen I saw him do the wrist flex, I was like, â€˜Oh man, he messed up.' I went to congratulate him, but I knew.â€
What Broyles knew was that Stills was headed to a place no Sooner player wants to be â€” trying to explain away a celebration penalty to Stoops.
â€œI'm not going to go into it because Kenny has done too well here all year,â€ Stoops said Tuesday. â€œBut he made a bad choice and I don't believe those kind of actions are spontaneous in my mind. They're thought of, and I just don't believe it's right.â€
At least Stills got his money's worth.
He got so much air on his celebration spike, it was the headlining photo of OU's game in The Oklahoman sports section. Stills' mom actually called the newspaper Monday to ask for a copy.
The spike also got the crowd fired up. Got his teammates fired up. Got Stoops fired up â€” but in a very different way.
After Stills was flagged for the 15-yard penalty, forcing the Sooners to kick off from their own 15-yard line, Stoops wore Stills out on the sidelines. Then followed Stills to the bench and wore him out some more.
â€œWhen (Stoops) came over to the bench, we all sat back quiet,â€ Broyles said. â€œTried to look the other way, tried not to know what was happening.
â€œI don't think (Stills) will be doing that again.â€
Stoops was asked during his weekly news conference if he's ever been madder at a player before.
â€œOh, I have been. Ryan Broyles a year ago at Tech,â€ Stoops replied, referring to Broyles being flagged for taunting after high-stepping and holding the ball up on a touchdown reception that still left the Sooners down 34-13 in the fourth quarter.
Broyles' only explanation for his celebration penalty was that he felt like the team â€œneeded a spark.â€
Down four touchdowns, OU sure needed a spark. But Broyles' high-stepping was too much too late.
But Broyles is not alone in trying to spark a team via excessive celebration.
Three years ago against Florida, Georgia coach Mark Richt famously ordered his players to rush to the end zone and celebrate the Bulldogs' first touchdown. The ruckus drew two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, forcing Georgia to kick off from its own 8-yard line; but the Bulldogs went on to win, 42-30.
â€œHe's got more guts than me,â€ Stoops joked. â€œI haven't had to get guys fired up usually.â€
Stills is not available to the media this week to explain what it felt like to be him at that moment (Stoops limited player availability this week to just a few players).
But Stoops did explain why celebration penalties draw so much of his ire.
â€œAny action that way to me is â€¦ football is the ultimate team sport,â€ he said. â€œThose linemen protected Landry Jones to get that ball off. Landry couldn't have thrown a better ball into the wind to put it right where it needed to be. Running backs protected for him or they've been running the ball, getting hammered to suck up the safeties to get him behind everybody. So it isn't just you who made the play. If you're a tennis player or a golfer, you do all you want. There's a lot of parts to what happened there.
â€œThen, to have to kick the ball off from the 15-yard line into a 20 mile an hour north wind, is not what you want to do. It just negates the touchdown and gives the other team the opportunity to get right back at you.â€
But pressed and pressed, Stoops finally admitted he once exempted a player from a celebration penalty.
â€œThe only time I thought it was great was when we won the Holiday Bowl (in 2005), Clint Ingram intercepted the ball,â€ Stoops said. â€œHe knew the game was over.â€
â€œHe punted the ball into the stands. I jumped on him and said, â€˜That's the best.'â€