'He prepares like he's the guy': Beville staying ready as Sooners' backup QB

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Sep. 8—For backup quarterback Davis Beville, the opportunity to lead Oklahoma's offense late in last Saturday's win over UTEP was the culmination of years of hard work.

The last time he was on the field, Beville was playing for Pitt and was called on to take over the offense during the first quarter of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl against Michigan State. Beville scored a touchdown and helped give Pitt a 21-10 lead over Michigan State going into the fourth quarter.

The Spartans came charging back in the fourth, though, and a late pick-six by Beville in the closing seconds sealed a 31-21 win for Michigan State.

"I'd say it was huge for me," Beville said about the loss. "The whole way I talk about it is just kind of like, 'God works in mysterious ways.' Obviously the game didn't go how I wanted it to. I finished with the worst possible outcome. I never thought I'd end up here. If the game had gone different, maybe I hadn't. So I'm just blessed to be here and that experience on the field was definitely big too just for being ready."

The redshirt junior got the nod to replace Dillon Gabriel when the Sooners' offense came out for their second possession of the fourth quarter against UTEP.

The Sooners already held a 42-13 lead and Beville didn't get any opportunities to throw, but he did get in on the action on a four-yard run on third-and-2.

Beville kept the ball on a zone read and ran over a defender to get over the line to gain.

The Sooners were able to set up a field goal, but didn't get the ball back for the rest of the game.

"It was awesome," Beville said about the drive. " ... (I) wanted to sling it around a little bit, but I got my nose dirty a little bit on that run and I'm always ready to go."

The Greenville, S.C. product was rated as the No. 11 pro-style quarterback and the No. 3 overall prospect in South Carolina in his recruiting class. Beville was the backup for future first round draft pick Kenny Pickett for the last two seasons before announcing his decision to enter the transfer portal.

The Sooners lost Caleb Williams and Spencer Rattler to the portal after the season, giving Beville an opportunity in a depleted quarterback room.

"I've always just kind of played with the mindset [to] just always be ready to go," Beville said. "I knew if I had an opportunity to come out here and compete, which I've done, I'm just going to be ready to go whenever my name is called."

Commanding the backup starting quarterback job comes with plenty of uncertainty. Beville knows he has to be ready to be called on to lead the offense at a moment's notice, so he said his mindset this season has been to always be ready to go.

"I love how well he's been able to take in information and challenges himself in the mental game and the mental side of it, knowing that it's a different game and a different perspective, having to wait and be ready," Dillon Gabriel said. "But he prepares like he's the guy too. I can respect that. It continues to push me to be at the top of my game too."

Tarik Masri is a sports reporter for The Transcript covering OU athletics and area sports. You can reach him by emailing tarik@normantranscript.com