MOORE — In his first ever game at Memorial Stadium, Justin Brown didn’t miss much. The senior Penn State transfer was a pivotal cog in the Sooners’ aerial attack and on special teams.
The only time Brown looked out of place Saturday in Oklahoma’s 69-13 win over Florida A&M was during the touchdown celebrations.
“The gun shots and horses caught me off guard,” Brown said. “I just looked up and saw some horses on the field. I’ve been to stadiums that had gunshots, but never horses. I guess that’s just how they do it down here. But I’ll get used to it.”
If the 6-2, 209 pound Brown continues on the course as he has been, he will be seeing the Sooner Schooner many more times. Even though he didn’t reach the endzone against the Rattlers, his play on special teams and the passing game led directly to several touchdowns.
That included a career high 62 yard punt return in the second quarter. It’s the longest return by any Sooner since Ryan Broyles’ 87-yarder in 2009.
“I just caught the ball, saw a little seam,” Brown said. “I tried to set the first guy up. My blockers did the rest. I tried to take it to the house.”
Brown had a total of 102 yards worth of return yardage. But it was the moves he displayed that had his own teammates in awe.
“Justin, you never know what he’s going to do,” freshman Trey Metoyer said. “Matter of fact, he surprised me. Last game I really didn’t see him get loose. Tonight he got loose. Some catches I thought he was going to fair catch. But he took it. And when he took it, he made plays. He’s a big part of our special teams.”
Coach Bob Stoops was just as impressed as Brown’s teammates. But he knew what the Sooners were getting when he brought him into the program less than three months ago.
“I thought Justin Brown did great,” Stoops said. “I said once he decided to come here this isn’t like a guy that hasn’t played big time football. He was playing big time football as a true freshman. Been playing it ever since. This is a guy who knows how to compete. He has size and strength to him. Has speed. The guy’s got it all. He’s a really special guy.”
Stoops hearkened back to one of his former Sooners to describe what Brown brings to special teams.
“What makes him such a good punt returner, it reminds of the days going back to J.T. Thatcher,” Stoops said. “He can run through some people. He’s not a guy that you can get hold of his jersey and swing him down. He’s got a lot of strength to him.”
Brown also ended his second game as a Sooner with two catches for 55 yards. He joined Metoyer, Kenny Stills, Sterling Shepard and the rest of the wide receiver core in riddling the Rattlers for 252 yards.
“I know it sounds funny, but we have this thing where we call ourselves Cheetahs,” Metoyer said. “You have to play fast, you have to play explosive. Cheetahs are fast. You can’t hit nothing you can’t catch.”
Brown proved that over and over again Saturday.