Roy Finch

Oklahoma kicks senior RB Damien Williams off team

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Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops revealed Monday that senior running back Damien Williams has been dismissed from the team, via ESPN’s Jake Trotter.

According to the Oklahoman, Williams was suspended for Saturday’s game against Kansas State for a violation of team rules. It was his second suspension for violating team rules, as he missed OU’s Sept. 14 win over Tulsa due to a transgression as well.

Williams topped Sooners running backs with seven touchdowns and was second to senior Brennan Clay with 114 carries and 553 yards. His best game this season also turned out to be his last — Williams carried 10 times for 128 yards and two touchdowns Nov. 16 against Iowa State.

In two years with OU — Williams was a JuCo transfer — he carried 290 times for 1,499 yards with 18 touchdowns.

With Williams gone, expect senior Roy Finch (58 carries, 347 yards) to take on a larger role in OU’s offense. Finch was more of a feature back his first two years with the Sooners, carrying 85 times for 398 yards in 2010 and 111 times for 605 yards in 2011.

Doom for Sooners? Texas thriving on third downs, leads 23-10

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The Texas Longhorns entered today’s edition of the Red River Rivalry ranked 69th in the country in third down conversion success. You would not know that by watching the Longhorns today. You also may not realize Oklahoma’s defense is ranked 11th in the nation in third down defense.

Texas is leading Oklahoma at halftime, 23-10, and has the success on third down to thank for it. The Longhorns converted nine out of 12 third down attempts, a 75 percent success rate. The Longhorns had entered today converting on just 40.26 percent of their third down attempts, so clearly Bob Stoops and his defense have something to review at the half. If Texas continues to extend drives with that kind of success, Texas could very well wear down Oklahoma on their way to their first win in the Red River Rivalry since 2009.

The Texas game plan has been incredibly solid and focusing on the running game. Johnathan Gray leads all players with 82 yards and Case McCoy has been dependable with 125 passing yards and a touchdown, a 59 yard strike down the right sideline to Marcus Johnson on a wild third down conversion. The offense has been efficient, but the defense has done their part as well. Defensive lineman Chris Whaley intercepted a pass from Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell and returned it for a touchdown in the first quarter to give Texas a 10-3 lead. Oklahoma’s only touchdown of the half was set up by a long kickoff return by Roy Finch. Damien Williams rushed in for a short touchdown run to get the Sooners on the board and cut the Texas lead to 20-10. Had the score stayed that way who knows if Oklahoma could have built off of that momentum at the break. Instead, Texas made the most of their short time until halftime and tacked on three more points with a 43-yard field goal from Anthony Fera. Before Oklahoma had that long kickoff return, Fera had kicked a 50-yard field goal.

Can Texas keep it going in the second half, or will Oklahoma battle back?