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NU's Deontai Williams explains a savvy veteran move — and why he's mad he didn't capitalize on it
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NU's Deontai Williams explains a savvy veteran move — and why he's mad he didn't capitalize on it

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Nebraska vs. Oklahoma, 9.18

Nebraska's Deontai Williams (bottom) sends Oklahoma's Michael Woods flying with a first-quarter hit on Saturday in Norman, Okla.

Steven M. Sipple and Parker Gabriel give the four most interesting pieces of information after Monday's Husker press conference.

Deontai Williams didn’t need to be reminded about which of Oklahoma’s offensive pass plays went for the longest gain of the day on Saturday during the Sooners’ 23-16 victory over Nebraska.

The Husker senior safety knew immediately.

“Yeah, trick play,” he said before a reporter could finish the question.

The fact that the Sooners didn't get more than that on any pass play speaks to the fact that Nebraska’s defense did a really good job of keeping the explosive OU attack in check. 

Williams, though, wished he could have that one back. His veteran savvy identified that a trick play was at hand. He took the blame for not communicating what he saw.

Steven M. Sipple and Parker Gabriel deliver the latest Two-Minute Drill on Monday at Memorial Stadium.

The play before, freshman Mario Williams blocked Deontai Williams and the two got tangled up near the end of the play. On the next snap, the OU receiver lined up in the backfield behind quarterback Spencer Rattler in the pistol, but the veteran NU safety knew something wasn’t right.

“I (saw) the wide receiver didn’t have his gloves on,” Deontai Williams said. “I was like, ‘Aw, shoot.’ But I didn’t tell nobody. So, it’s kind of my fault.”

Indeed, Mario Williams had both gloves on when blocking Deontai on one play, then somewhere between snaps slipped off the glove on his right hand. He took a pitch from Rattler, moved to the right, then threw the ball back to the quarterback, who heaved it downfield to standout receiver Marvin Mims for 23 yards, with Williams and senior safety Marquel Dismuke in pursuit. The Sooners scored a touchdown on the drive to push their advantage to 14-3.

“I’ve just gone to open my mouth on that play,” the sixth-year senior defensive back said. “I seen that he normally wears his gloves and I should have pointed that out to Marquel. We could have got a pick and got off the field. I’m blaming all of that myself.”

Little plays can be the difference between winning and losing. OU failed to score more than 27 points for the first time in 65 games and was 150 yards below its season average. Even then, Husker defenders got their hands on two passes early in the game, and corner Braxton Clark nearly had an interception in the second half, too.

“We’re tired of being so close. That takes a toll on you,” Williams said. “We’re tired of being so close. We want wins. We get tired of hearing about moral victories and we played against a No. 3 team that we should have beat. We should have beat. Nine out of 10 times, we should have beat them.”

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.

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Parker joined the Journal Star as the University of Nebraska football beat writer in August 2017. He previously covered Montana State athletics for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012.

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