OU's Damien Williams returns to lead potent ground game
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Sunday, November 11, 2012
11/11/12 at 7:24 AM
NORMAN - Damien Williams said he was glad to be back to playing a prominent role in the University of Oklahoma's offensive backfield.
The junior from San Diego was slowed by an ankle injury at Iowa State last week, but came back to rush for a game-high 99 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's 42-34 win over Baylor.
"It felt good to get off the sidelines," he said. "I was getting better throughout the week, getting treatments three times a day. It was great to play again."
Williams tried playing on his sore right ankle in Ames but left after only three carries for seven yards. Brennan Clay picked up the slack with a career-best 157 rushing yards in the Sooners' 35-20 win over the Cyclones.
"That was great, Brennan having a great game. I'm appreciative of what we've got," said Williams, whose Saturday performance fell just short of his fourth 100-yard rushing game as a Sooner.
The running game was a large part Saturday of an offense that produced 460 yards, 28 first downs and consistently kept the ball away from the high-scoring Bears.
The Sooners held the ball for all but 11:47 of the first half and finished with five scoring drives of 64 yards or more, averaging 6.1 yards per play.
Backup quarterback Blake Bell totaled 74 rushing yards and had one of the game's key plays, a third-and-one, 55-yard scoring run early in the fourth quarter that gave the Sooners a 42-26 lead.
"We were effective running and throwing the ball," head coach Bob Stoops said. "The balance was positive."
Williams' only disappointment was a third-quarter fumble at the Baylor 39 that prevented the Sooners from building on a 28-20 lead. It came one play after Roy Finch had given the Sooners enviable field position with a 36-yard punt return.
"I don't know what happened on that play," Williams said. "I thought I hit the ground and the ball popped out."
Other than that play, co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said Williams "did a good job. He did a good job of bending some of those inside zone plays back and getting into the end zone."
Williams' 3-yard run in the second quarter capped OU's third drive of 70 or more yards in the first half and gave the Sooners a 21-10 lead.
In the third quarter, the Sooners had a key 75-yard drive after Baylor had cut its deficit to 28-26. Williams capped the drive by bursting 17 yards up the middle, and the Sooners were back in control.
Original Print Headline: Williams leads potent Oklahoma rushing attack
OU's Damien Williams runs past Baylor's Eddie Lackey. Williams anchored a strong Sooner ground game Saturday. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World