The worry about Oklahoma and quarterback Baker Mayfield was he wouldn’t be who he is. How could he be? Coming off a concussion, there was no way he was going to maintain that let everything roll attitude.
Yea, there is. And yea, there was. Mayfield was his usual self in helping guide the Sooners to a statement-making 58-23 win at No. 11 Oklahoma State in Bedlam on Saturday night.
He did it his way, like always.
“No. Not Baker. He can only play one way,” said head coach Bob Stoops if he thought Mayfield might change his way of playing.
He did it through the air – as usual. Mayfield was 17-of-25 passing for 180 yards and two touchdowns. He did with his legs – par for the course. He rushed for 77 yards and a touchdown.
He did it with his leadership – no shock there. He did it with his energy – jawing with players like he does after nearly every single play. He did it with his blocking? That’s a new one, and it showed up in a major way against the Cowboys.
OU was ahead 14-10 at the start of the second quarter and faced a first-and-10 at its own 34 yard line. Running back Joe Mixon was bottled up going left so he reversed the field and started heading toward his right.
Mayfield was there to greet him and spring him along for a 66-yard touchdown to give the Sooners a two-score lead. It wasn’t quite a pancake block, didn’t need to be. What it was, though, was another example of how Mayfield has led the incredible one-year turnaround for the Sooners.
Dead in the water and 8-5 in 2014, now 11-1, Big 12 champions and practically guaranteed a berth in the four-team college football playoff.
“Blocking’s a thing that I used to love doing in high school,” Mayfield said. “I put a couple of those in my high school highlight tape. He (Mixon) did a great job of reversing field when there was nothing frontside on the run, and came backside. I got excited and got a piece of the corner, and he broke loose.”
Is that the Heisman moment? Mayfield feels like he has had a few of them. The comeback at Tennessee. The razzle dazzle touchdown pass to Mark Andrews against Tulsa. The extending-the-play game-sealing touchdown against Baylor.
Through it all, the 3,389 passing yards with 35 touchdowns against just five interceptions as well as seven rushing touchdowns, is a block his ticket to New York and a spot in the Heisman Trophy ceremony in two weeks?
Not sure, but his teammates certainly have his back.
“Of course. I’ve been saying that since day one,” said senior receiver Sterling Shepard on if Mayfield deserves a trip to New York. “Hopefully he’s in it.”