It was a banner year for Oklahoma in 2015 as the Sooners returned to national prominence by winning the Big 12 championship and becoming the first Big 12 team in the college football playoff.
There were so many good moments, but which ones were the best? That’s what we’re here to decide. This entire week Sooners Illustrated is counting them down. Four plays each day of the week until we reach the final four Friday.
Without further ado, we continue the look at OU’s top 20 plays of 2015.
No. 16: Riley goes deep into the bag of tricks (OU 52, Iowa State 16)
That’s one way to start a game, no? After Iowa State used 10 plays and 4:14 on its first drive to nail a field goal, the Sooners erased that deficit in 13 seconds.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield gave the ball to Samaje Perine, who then flipped it to Sterling Shepard. Shepard tossed it back to Mayfield, who then passed it to a wide open Dimitri Flowers for the 75-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage.
Flowers was so wide open, the only question was making sure Mayfield got it there and Flowers made the catch. Shepard, for what it’s worth, probably would have earned at least 30 yards if they had gone that direction of him running it.
Great play call by offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley, setting the tone early.
No. 15: Striker, Evans punctuate defensive day (OU 44, West Virginia 24)
Could there be any other choice? It was one last hope for WVU after an interception by Baker Mayfield, but it was thwarted pretty quickly.
On a first down play, Howard was hit from the blind side by Striker coming off the edge and hit his arm as he was about to release it. The ensuing fumble was scooped up by Jordan Evans, who went 41 yards for the game’s final touchdown.
OU forced five turnovers on this day and scored its first touchdown of the season to highlight an entertaining afternoon in Norman.
No. 14: Mayfield keeps the play alive, finds Perine (OU 31, Tennessee 24 – 2 OT)
The play call seemed like a smart one for OU on 3rd-and-goal from the 2 yard line. Get Perine open on some misdirection and find him in the end zone.
Except the Vols had the play defended well. As Mayfield kept rolling, he decided he could thread the needle to Perine for the 2-yard touchdown. It was OU’s first touchdown of the game and made it 17-10 with 8:12 left in the fourth quarter.
The drive itself was the start of a magical finish as OU went 80 yards in 14 plays.
No. 13: Mayfield finds Shepard early (OU 55, Kansas State 0)
It started from the get-go in this one as Baker Mayfield connected with wide receiver Sterling Shepard twice for 44 yards on the first drive, culminating with a Shepard 22-yard touchdown.
The key was the tempo and no substitutions. The Sooners went five plays for 75 yards in the blink of an eye, finally using that tempo so many have been expecting to see with Lincoln Riley running the show.
Also, after a couple of games where it took a while to get Shepard going, this game was not the issue. Shepard had the first catch of the night and ended up with two touchdowns in the game.