The two quarterbacks are Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph and Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes, who led a late second half comeback that made the Baylor fans at AT&T Stadium in Arlington even more nervous than they were in the middle of the fourth quarter the previous Saturday in Waco when Rudolph was leading Oklahoma State down the field threatening to make it a one score game in the Cowboys eventual 49-28 loss to the seventh-ranked Bears.
To somewhat cut to the chase, Oklahoma State fans, based on Mahomes numbers, would have to hope the comparison is not only fair but accurate.
The similarities prior to either appearing in a game this season are they were both recruited by Oklahoma State, although the Cowboys dropped off on Mahomes after they received their commitment from Mason Rudolph out of Rock Hill (Northwestern), S.C. Mahomes is from Whitehouse in East Texas and the standout football/baseball player in high school committed to Texas Tech.
The two quarterbacks are both big and sturdy for college freshmen at the position. Mahomes listed at 6-3, 215 pounds and Rudolph now at 6-4 1/2 and 225 pounds.
As high school seniors both exploded with Rudolph leading his Trojans in South Carolina to a 16-0 mark and the Class 4A state championship. He completed 350 of 482 passes for 4,377 yards with 64 touchdowns and just 8 interceptions. He also ran for 543 yards on 129 carries and 16 touchdowns.
Mahomes led his team in Class 5A in Texas to a 12-1 record (perfect 10-0 in regular season) and was 287-of-495 passing for 4,619 yards with 50 touchdowns. He also ran 157 times for 948 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Both were in Boone Pickens Stadium when Mahomes's redshirt came off as Tech starting quarterback Davis Webb was injured in the fourth quarter. Mahomes struggled completing 2-of-5 passing with an interception. In three games (the Oklahoma State appearance plus TCU and Kansas State) of coming in for late mop-up action, Mahomes was 12-of-23 passing with two interceptions and 119 yards and two touchdowns. Mahomes' first start came against Texas but did not last long as he was injured in the first half and out the rest of the game. He left after completing 13 of 21 passes for 109 yards with no interceptions or touchdowns.
Here is where you can somewhat get down to comparing as Mahomes, with four games of lead-in action, had his first start to finish appearance for the Red Raiders. He completed 27-of-50 passing against Oklahoma in Lubbock for 393 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.
Rudolph had no lead-in for his first start to finish appearance for the Cowboys as he was indoctrinated against a high-powered Baylor team in Waco in a steady rain. Rudolph finished that game 13-of-25 passing for 281 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Rudolph was sacked three times.
If you add up Mahomes' first three games of spot duty starting in Stillwater and even throw in his first start but partial appearance against Texas the numbers somewhat correspond.
Patrick Mahomes - 1st four games all partial appearances
25-of-44 for 228 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions
Mason Rudolph - 1st start at Baylor
13-of-25 for 281 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions
Now, Rudolph gets his second start on the road at Oklahoma where Mahomes was able to put up those impressive numbers against the Sooners in Lubbock: Mahomes vs. OU, 27-of-50 for 393 yards with 4 touchdowns and 0 interceptions
Unless Rudolph and the Cowboys can engineer the upset and go on to play in a bowl game for the schools record ninth appearance then for Rudolph in his rookie campaign the numbers end. Mahomes had two more starts following his first start-to-finish appearance and those went like this:
Mahomes vs. Iowa State: 23-of-35 for 328 yards with 4 touchdowns and 1 interception
Mahomes vs. Baylor: 30-of-56 for 598 yards with 6 touchdowns and 1 interception
It kind of makes you want to keep going and maybe the Cowboys will find a way to do so because I know I would love to see Rudolph quarterback one more game before waiting to see him throw again in the spring.