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Record-setting JC transfer helps OU run over Florida A&M

The SportsXchange

NORMAN, Okla.--After losing Dominique Whaley to an injury last season, Oklahoma lost its direction on offense.

Saturday night, it looked like the Sooners finally found an answer.

Junior-college transfer running back Damien Williams, tore through Florida A&M's defense, helping Oklahoma to a 69-13 win at Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium.

Williams ran for 156 yards and four touchdowns, turning in the top rushing performance ever by a Sooner making his home debut.

He did it with power and he did it with flash.

Williams' second touchdown came on a bruising 15-yard run early in the second quarter that finished with a dive into the corner of the end zone.

His final score was an 89-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

"Damien's a strong, powerful guy with excellent speed," Sooners coach Bob Stoops said. "It's exciting to see him playing the way he is. He looked great out there tonight and the guys in front of him did a great job creating some seams for him."

Although Stoops wouldn't say whether Williams or Whaley would be the starter going forward, it certainly looked like Williams grabbed the job for now after Whaley struggled to keep a hold on the ball for the second consecutive game.

Williams didn't waste momentum with unnecessary cuts as he scored on three of his first four carries, bringing his streak to four of five after he scored on his final carry in a win over UTEP a week before.

"That's how I like to do it, one cut and it's done," Williams said. "If you make too many cuts, you miss your opportunities."

And Williams certainly took advantage of those, coming on for the Sooners second series after Whaley and the offense failed to get a first down on the Sooners' first series.

Landry Jones threw for 252 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Sooners (2-0) rolled to a win in their final game before beginning Big 12 play Sept. 22 against Kansas State.

Florida A&M (0-2) was outgained 662-235.

Oklahoma also got a spark from Penn State transfer Justin Brown in the return game.

Brown, who transferred from Penn State after the NCAA granted transfers immediate eligibility in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, had a pair of 40-plus-yard punt returns that led to touchdowns.

Midway through the first quarter, it looked as if Brown found the end zone, but he was ruled out at the 4 for a 43-yard return. Williams scored his second touchdown on the first play of the ensuing drive.

Then in the second quarter, Brown broke off a 62-yard return to give the Sooners the ball inside the 10 once again.

Three plays later, Jones found Kenny Stills for a 16-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 28-3.

Stills had his fifth career 100-yard game, finishing with 10 catches for 120 yards.

Sterling Shepard, making his home debut in the stadium where his father Derrick starred before moving on to the NFL, had three catches for 48 yards.

Shepard's first reception late in the second quarter drew a large applause. Derrick Shepard died in 1999 when his son was 6.

Even in the blowout, Florida A&M coach Joseph Taylor found a positive spin.

"The bottom line is -- to come up and be completely outmatched, but to see our guys give completely great effort, make some plays, get some turnovers, and move the ball -- that lets you know that there's a lot of potential in this club, so that, to me, is very encouraging."

The Rattlers biggest moment came late in the second quarter when Damien Flemming hit Travis Henry for a 75-yard touchdown, slashing through the Sooners defense. The big play helped Harvey finish with four catches for 118 yards.

"Hopefully that's a connection we will see as we move forward," Taylor said. "Four-three speed is 4.3 speed, and he has 4.3 speed."
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