During the next two weeks, Sooners Illustrated will look back on the 2015 Oklahoma football season: Evaluating each possession group, recapping key moments, reliving the biggest surprises and assigning an overall grade for the year.
We’ll start with quarterback play and end with the kicking game.
Summary: Baker Mayfield might have been the biggest surprise for the Sooners this season. There were a lot of people in his corner but very few probably thought Mayfield would throw for 3,700 yards, complete 68.1 percent of his passes and score 43 total touchdowns. Mayfield never missed significant time outside of the second half against TCU – showing surprisingly durability for someone who plays with as much reckless abandon as Mayfield does. It is clear that Mayfield is a bright spot in the Sooners offense moving forward.
Best player: Well, this is obvious. Mayfield was by far the best player. Oklahoma back-up Trevor Knight played significant snaps only once and barely held on for a victory against TCU. Knight was subpar and transferred to Texas A&M at the end of the season.
Biggest surprise: Still, Mayfield here. It was pretty clear from the start of camp Mayfield would earn the starting job but how well he wound up playing was a huge surprise. And a welcomed one in an Oklahoma offense that made huge strides in its first year under offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley.
Best moment: The win at Baylor was big, and Sooners Nation more than welcomed the domination at Oklahoma State. The best moment though might have been Mayfield’s performance in the final quarter and overtime against Tennessee. In those few drives, Mayfield proved that he had the swagger and confidence to accomplish everything else that the Sooners achieved in the 2016 season.
Biggest weakness: The depth at the position is a serious concern, especially considering the way Mayfield plays the game, which might be the second-biggest weakness. There were times when Mayfield was completely shutdown – against Texas and Clemson in the College Football Playoff. There were slow starts early in the season, and those will have to be avoided. Mayfield’s biggest weaknesses before the season wasn’t an issue, though. The bad decision-making that Mayfield showed at Texas Tech was clearly a thing of the past. Mayfield threw just seven interceptions all season.