Sooner football newcomers gain confidence, career firsts during home-opener win against FAMU

By Tobi Neidy

During a game when the Oklahoma offense scored most of its points on the ground, two freshman wide receivers gained career firsts and confidence during their first outing under the bright lights of Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

Trey Metoyer collected his first career touchdown, finishing with 30 yards from three catches, and Sterling Shepard recorded his first career catch, finishing with 48 yards from three catches in OU’s 69-13 win against FAMU on Saturday night.

Although junior wide receiver Kenny Stills finished with 120 yards to lead the receiving corps, having the two newcomers step up their level of play was something co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said will be vital to the continued success of the OU offense.

“I don’t think we need just one guy, and it’s something I said at the beginning of training camp,” Heupel said. “We need the other guys to come on.”

Metoyer continued to be one of senior quarterback Landry Jones’ go-to guys after the Whitehouse, Texas, native had 121 yards in his first outing during the season opener a week ago.

But there was something missing from the freshman’s stat record after the victory over UTEP — at least until the waning seconds of the second quarter.

With just 36 seconds left to go in the first half, Metoyer dove for a 18-yard catch that became OU’s fifth TD of the game. The catch was something Metoyer said he needed to give back to Jones after having a couple of miscues during his first minutes of the season opener.

“The first week, there were two (passes) I should’ve had, so I made up for it,” Metoyer said. “I said I had to bring this one.”

Metoyer’s catch combined with sophomore kicker Michael Hunnicutt’s successful extra point gave the Sooners the 35-point lead at halftime. Metoyer said it also gave him a lot of confidence to go back out onto the field.

“I got that out of the way, so now I can just go head from here on out,” Metoyer said.

Shepard also had his first career catch during the same drive, a quick 11-yard reception from Jones that gave OU its third first down of that offensive series.

“I saw the ball whistling, so I knew I had to get it,” Shepard said.

While Shepard didn’t haul in a touchdown during the game, he echoed the same feeling that getting that first catch out of the way would help his confidence going into later games.

“It was a relief I got the first one out of the way,” Shepard said. “Hopefully there will be plenty more to come.”

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