Shepard surpasses his father
Junior wide receiver Sterling Shepard didn’t just catch his first touchdown of the season in the first quarter. With the yards on the catch, he jumped ahead of his father to No. 22 on OU’s all-time receiving yards list.
In the press box, it was a pretty big deal. But for Shepard, he actually had no clue that it had occurred.
“I had no idea at all,” Shepard said. “Coach Stoops announced it at the end of the game in the locker room, and I had no idea about it. It was great though.”
Shepard had four catches for 49 yards and two punt returns for 35 yards.
Tyler Evans makes his return
Saturday had a return feeling about it, and nobody has come back from more than offensive guard Tyler Evans. Following back-to-back torn ACLs, it was Evans’ first game since the Insight Bowl in 2011.
“I feel like a really old guy out there,” Evans said. “I could see the blitz before it was going to come. Body actually felt really, really good. The two years I took off, my upper body got so strong I didn’t really need my legs.”
Evans not only played but started as OU held out Nila Kasitati. Bob Stoops said after the game they didn’t know Kasitati wasn’t going to play until Thursday but said he should be ready for next week.
Gastelum steps up
Evans was ejected for targeting in the first half, leading to Gastelum receiving the majority of the snaps for the rest of the game.
“Caleb has done a great job, and we’re lucky to have him,” defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “He has worked really hard and is a much better player right now than he was anytime last year. He is reliable.”
He finished with three tackles and one pass breakup. He said he’ll be thinking about that near interception all this week. He saw it coming but couldn’t snag it in.
Who’s the backup quarterback?
As the score kept getting more lopsided, the question being asked was how long was Trevor Knight going to be out there?
He explained his logic.
“Well, we did but here is how it was,” Stoops said. “Cody, we feel will be back to 100 percent next week. We could have put him in there just to hand the ball off, but we didn’t feel we needed to put him out there.
“Baker (Mayfield) isn’t cleared. Not knowing the whole future with Baker, we didn’t want to burn Justice’s redshirt. We had guys ready. Blake was ready to go and Justice was ready to go if we had to. It’s just kind of odd we had to finish it out that way.”
Where’s Johnson, Russell?
One minor thing that stood out following the game on Twitter was defensive back Cortez Johnson tweeting during the game.
He wasn’t suited up, and Stoops said they will find out this week if he is still with the team. It’s possible he has quit the team, but Stoops alluded to the fact Johnson’s father doesn’t want that to happen.
Another no-show was defensive tackle Quincy Russell, and Stoops didn’t have any answers to where Russell was Saturday.
It should be pointed out both Johnson and Russell are not in the three-deep at their respective positions so it’s not likely to be a huge story going forward.