AMES, Iowa — Junior wide receiver Jeffery Mead has been waiting for his moment to shine, and it finally came on Thursday night.
With the clock winding down in the first quarter, Mead was the lone receiver set out to the left. Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield snapped the ball and immediately threw it Mead's way on an out-route.
Mead caught the ball around the 20-yard line, stiff-armed a defender and then spun not once, but twice, to avoid a pair of defenders before finding his way into the end zone.
Mead said his spin moves were pure instinct, rather than something he practices often.
“A big dude is running fast at you, get out of the way," Mead said of his thoughts during the play. "And that’s what I did and it worked.
"I don’t think my spin moves looked very good. I haven’t seen them yet but I don’t think I’m a person who can spin well so I just think it was instinct.”
Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley said Mead earned his starting spot tonight, and played well.
"He's practiced well," Riley said. "This week he practiced the best of those three at that position, and coach Simmons noticed it and said we need to go with him. He'd done a lot for us early, and he had a stretch in the middle where he didn't play much.
"Another example of a guy that can say 'forget this, I've started and now these younger guys are getting a chance over me,' but he's continued to work hard and he's practiced really well the last couple of weeks, and we wanted to play him a little bit and it didn't happen, and he just really asserted himself in practice and obviously made some good plays for us tonight."
Mead ended the night with two catches for 42 yards and one touchdown in No. 14 Oklahoma's 34-24 win over Iowa State.
Mead's quarterback has noticed his improvement, too.
"It was a good performance for Jeff," Mayfield said. "It was kind of the dog mentality that we've been waiting for him to show.
"We've been waiting for Jeff to show his talents, he's a great receiver."