Dallas Colleges: Dom Whaley
His cut put them off balance and as he hit the left sideline, he had one player to outrun -- for a while, anyway. Receiver Kenny Stills erased Quandre Diggs and set Williams free as the Cotton Bowl -- well, half of it -- exploded.
"That's something that any football player wants to be a part of. The fans were so crazy," Williams told ESPN.com this week. "Going into that game I was confident and excited."
The 6-foot, 208-pound junior-college transfer grabbed 22 carries, 14 more than any Sooner. A week earlier, his 14 carries in a blowout win over Texas Tech were 12 more than any other Oklahoma back. For now, this job is Williams'. He was expecting to help out the unit and "do his part," whatever that meant.
For now, it means being the Sooners' No. 1 back.
"He’s played consistently all year. He’s made big plays. He’s an incredibly physical, tough runner. He’s got great speed and he’s taking care of the ball," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. "He’s been reliable. He’s got great hands. He’s got everything you look for. Power and again, has incredible hands to go with his ability to run."
With Dominique Whaley returning from a fractured ankle and Roy Finch breaking highlight-reel runs, Williams ascending to win the job seemed unlikely in the preseason. Even Brennan Clay had more experience.
Through just five games, though, there's no doubt. Even in the season opener, Williams' potential was there. He broke a 65-yard touchdown run to ice a 24-7 road win over UTEP. A week later, he scored four times in a 69-13 victory over Florida A&M, turning 10 carries into 156 yards.
"I can't make any plays without my team around me," Williams said. "What the line is doing, what the coaches are calling and everything. All I can do is go out there and try to make plays."
He's got 66 carries for 508 yards and six touchdowns in just five games, one of just three Big 12 backs averaging at least 100 yards a game.
Against Texas Tech, he caught six passes for 82 yards, too.
"He’s been a huge spark, just with his physical running and ability to catch the ball," Stoops said.
Williams already has three runs longer than 60 yards this season. No other Big 12 back has one, and the rest of the Big 12 has just five combined. Only three players in all of college football have three runs longer than 60 yards, and all three players have suited up in seven games, compared to just five for Williams and the Sooners.
Record: 4-1, 2-1 Big 12
The Sooners have had the most up and down (and up again) season of any team in the Big 12. Oklahoma began the year looking like the Big 12's best team and the league's best hope for a national title.
After a lackluster win at UTEP, the questions were mounting. After a loss to Kansas State, the Sooners looked like a vulnerable squad susceptible to being swallowed up by the depth of the Big 12. They had to sit and wait a week to take the field again.
The Sooners rolled over a good Texas Tech team by three touchdowns (a week later, the Red Raiders dispatched No. 5 West Virginia by five touchdowns) and saved their best overall performance of the season for the Red River Rivalry, where the Sooners delivered a 42-point beatdown to a Texas team that looked completely overmatched.
The Sooners have the Big 12's best defense through the first half of the season, and the biggest question offensively is Landry Jones' completion percentage. The running game looks more physical than ever. Damien Williams has been a hidden gem from the juco ranks to lead the Sooners in rushing.
Oklahoma looks back on track for a Big 12 title, playing better than any team in the league these past two weeks. That big loss in Norman, though, means Oklahoma needs K-State to lose twice in order to win the league. That looks like a tall order these days.
Offensive MVP: Damien Williams, RB. Williams ascended a crowded depth chart to earn the starting gig ahead of Dom Whaley, Brennan Clay and Roy Finch. He is one of just three Big 12 backs averaging at least 100 yards a game. That's even more impressive considering he hadn't received more than 10 carries in a game before last week's win over Texas Tech. He's got 508 yards and six touchdowns on just 66 carries, averaging 7.7 yards a carry.
Defensive MVP: Aaron Colvin, CB. Colvin is far from the biggest name on a loaded Oklahoma team, but he's been the team's most valuable player to this point. He has 20 tackles, two picks and six pass break-ups. The 6-foot, 180-pounder might be making himself a lot of money this season.
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