In Focus: Baker Mayfield

Sooners' starting quarterback ready for his first go with the Sooners

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops expects his starting quarterback to have some butterflies as he steps onto the field for his first game with the Sooners.

Jokingly, Stoops said it wouldn’t be “human” if Baker Mayfield didn’t.

The source of the butterflies could be any number of places. It’s always been a dream of Mayfield’s to play at Oklahoma and run out onto Owen Field in front of more than 80,000 people. He’ll have even more eyes than that on him though. Just about everyone will be dissecting whether or not he was the right choice to lead Oklahoma’s new offense.

It might not be a major conference opponent, but Saturday will come with all the expectation and necessity of a big game for Mayfield.

“It has felt like a long time coming,” Mayfield said of his first career start. “I had to sit out last year. The whole spring and summer has had to teach me some patience. But it’s finally here. It’s pretty exciting around here.”

Mayfield said there’s not much difference between preparing for a start at Oklahoma than there is as Texas Tech. But there’s something different about playing in Norman for him.

His family will be tailgating in their usually spot, where Mayfield tailgated as a boy. He’ll have a much different pre-game experience this season.

Now, it’ll be all about his first step onto Owen Field.

“I’m sure there will be a moment where I run out of the tunnel and look around,” Mayfield said. “But other than that I’ve just gotta relax and play football. I’ve got to get my job done.”

That’s when he’ll be looking at all the fans. Soon after, they will all be looking at him.

“I don’t usually get nervous, but it’s going to be pretty exciting to run out of that tunnel and realize that I’m playing,” Mayfield said. “It will be a dream come true, but I’ve got to realize I’m still playing football. I’ve just gotta relax and have fun.”

All of Mayfield’s teammates have said that he’s always been a low-key, relaxed kind of guy. That hasn’t changed, although defensive back Zack Sanchez said that Mayfield can still focus.

He’ll need to do that on Saturday, despite the butterflies, because everyone will be waiting for him to make a mistake.

“Everyone knows what the expectations are around here,” Mayfield said. “That’s the focus. It’s no different. The focus is to win.”

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