Mark Andrews

Associated Press

Baker Mayfield guides No. 10 Oklahoma to another shootout win over Texas Tech

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We all know Baker Mayfield used to play quarterback for Texas Tech. And we all know how it ended. Mayfield remembers, and he made sure his former team did, too.

In two previous games against the Red Raiders, Mayfield led Oklahoma to a 63-27 win in 2015 in which he averaged 9.6 yards per attempt, and a 545-yard, 7-touchdown effort in a 66-59 track meet victory in Lubbock last season. In his swan song against Texas Tech, Mayfield on Saturday night completed a ho-hum (for him) 22-of-34 passes for 281 yards with four touchdowns and an interception in a 49-27 win.

The game started similar to how last season’s finished: all offense, all the time. The teams both scored touchdowns on their first three possessions, and only a missed extra point provided the difference to give No. 10 Oklahoma a 21-20 lead early in the second quarter.

But the defenses bowed up to close the half, forcing scoreless possessions on seven of eight touches to close the half. A 5-yard Rodney Anderson run gave Oklahoma a 28-20 advantage at the break, and 1-yard Mayfield run to open the second half provided some cushion for the Sooners.

Texas Tech answered with Nic Shimonek‘s fourth touchdown pass of the night, but the Red Raiders would not score again. Mayfield found Mark Andrews for a 7-yard score to push the lead back to two touchdowns, then hit CeeDee Lamb for a 14-yard strike at the end of the third quarter to close the scoring for the night.

A last-gasp, 14-play drive for Texas Tech ended in a turnover on downs at the Oklahoma 2-yard line with 11:16 left, and the Red Raiders did not get the ball back. Oklahoma moved 65 yards in 18 plays, eating every one of the 676 remaining seconds to secure the win. Led by Anderson’s 181 yards, Oklahoma rushed 47 times for 336 yards on the evening.

Shimonek completed 22-of-36 throws for 322 yards with four scores and an interception, and Tre King led the Red Raiders on the ground with 113 yards on 24 carries.

The win pushed OU to 7-1 on the year and allowed them to keep pace with Big 12 leader Iowa State ahead of next week’s Bedlam showdown with No. 11 Oklahoma State. Texas Tech (4-4, 1-4 Big 12) has now completely whittled away a 4-1 start with only one obvious win (vs. Baylor on Nov. 11) remaining on the schedule.

No. 12 Oklahoma hangs on to beat Texas and remain in Big 12, CFP races

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What looked at the beginning looked like a familiar rout turned into an instant classic. No. 12 Oklahoma looked like it was primed to blow out an undermanned and unprepared Texas but instead found itself overcoming a fourth quarter deficit as Baker Mayfield‘s touchdown pass to Mark Andrews pushed the Sooners over the Longhorns, 29-24.

Oklahoma (5-1, 2-1 Big 12) roared out of the gate of Saturday’s Red River affair, mounting a 20-0 lead before Texas could mount so much as a serious drive. Mayfield’s second pass of the game was a perfectly-placed 54-yard rainbow to Jeff Badet for a touchdown. Rodney Anderson glided in untouched for a 15-yard scoring run, and a pair of Austin Seibert field goals staked the Sooners to a 20-point edge.

But Texas (3-3, 2-1 Big 12) finally woke in the second quarter, set up by a 41-yard Kyle Porter kickoff return and completed on a 16-yard screen pass from Sam Ehlinger to Porter. The Sooners were driving just before the half in an attempt to stretch the lead back to 20, but John Bonney became the first defender to intercept Mayfield this season on a 4th-and-3 pass. That allowed Texas to mount a responding drive, as Joshua Rowland knocked in a 34-yard field goal to pull the Longhorns with 10 at the half.

Texas nearly intercepted Mayfield again on the first possession of the second half, but linebacker Breckyn Hager could not corral the pass that hit him in the numbers, and Seibert’s third field goal pushed the lead to 23-10.

Texas moved 75 yards in 13 plays, largely on Ehlinger’s legs, on the ensuing possession, and Chris Warren‘s 1-yard run, aided by Ehlinger pushing him across the goal line, cut the lead to 23-17 with 4:27 to play in the third quarter. The Longhorns were primed to take the lead when Ehlinger had Devin Duvernay streaking uncovered down the sideline, but his 42-yard pass carried the receiver out of bounds and the ‘Horns turned the ball over on downs. No matter, Texas moved 73 yards in eight plays to take the lead on an 8-yard Ehlinger (278 passing yards to go with a game-high 106 yards on 22 carries) run with 8:01 to play.

After spending the entire second half in a slumber, Oklahoma’s offense awakened when it had to do so. Mayfield found a wide open Andrews for a 59-yard touchdown. Mayfield’s 2-point pass to Andrews sailed out of bounds, forcing the Sooners to defend a 29-24 lead with 6:53 to play. Playing his fourth and (probably) final game against Texas, Mayfield finished 17-of-27 for 302 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

Ehlinger led Texas to midfield but left the game after banging his head on the Cotton Bowl turf, and Shane Buechele entered and took the ball to the Sooners’ 31-yard line with 2:45 to play. Texas would get no further though, as Buchele was sacked and a pair of penalties pushed the Longhorns’ into 2nd- and 3rd-and-long. Ehlinger fired incomplete on third and fourth downs, and Texas did not get the ball back until the 49-second mark at their own 3-yard line. With no timeouts remaining, Texas moved to midfield but no further, and Oklahoma had its sixth Red River win in the last eight years.

Baker Mayfield nearly perfect as No. 7 Oklahoma kicks off post-Stoops era with win

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For the first time since November of 1998, someone other than Bob Stoops was the winning coach for an Oklahoma football team.

Behind the right arm of 2016 Heisman Trophy finalist Baker Mayfield, No. 7 OU had little problem in dispatching UTEP as the Sooners cruised to a 56-7 win over the Miners.  It was the first win in the head-coaching career for Lincoln Riley, who took over for Stoops in the offseason when the longtime coach abruptly and unexpectedly retired.

Riley is the first coach not named Stoops to win a game for the Sooners since John Blake in November of 1998.

Mayfield began the game by completing his first 16 passes, and didn’t throw his first incompletion until less than three minutes were remaining in the second quarter.  In just one half of work — he was replaced by backup Kyler Murray at the start of the third quarter — Mayfield completed 19-of-20 passes for 329 yards and three touchdowns.

His 19 completions went to 10 different Sooners, with Mark Andrews on the receiving end of seven of them for 134 yards and a touchdown.  Having to replace the one-two combination of Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine, the Sooners were led in rushing Abdul Adams’ 53 yards, all of which came in the first half as well.  For the game, OU ran for 180 yards on 38 carries.

Murray kept up OU’s passing accuracy on the day as he went 10-11 for 149 yards and a touchdown.  All told, 14 different player caught passes from the two quarterbacks.

OU held UTEP, which is coming off a four-win 2016 season, to just 165 yards of offense — 73 rushing, 94 passing.

With what was essentially a preseason game out of the way, OU will truly kick off its 2017 season with a road trip to Columbus for a matchup with No. 2 Ohio State.  The Sooners will be looking to avenge a 45-24 loss to the Buckeyes in Norman last season.

Baker Mayfield, Kansas pass rusher headline preseason All-Big 12 team

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The Big 12 on Wednesday unveiled its 2017 preseason all-conference teams, led, of course, by Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. The 2016 Heisman Trophy finalist was named the league’s preseason Offensive Player of the Year and preseason All-Big 12 quarterback. Kansas’s Dorance ArmstrongJr., the conference’s leading returning sack man, was named the league’s preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

Oklahoma, Texas and TCU led the conference with five selections, followed by Kansas State and Oklahoma State with four. Texas Tech and Iowa State claimed two selections, followed by West Virginia and Baylor’s one.

Yes, that adds up to 29 players.

Offensive Player of the Year: Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Defensive Player of the Year: Dorance Armstrong Jr., Kansas
Newcomer of the Year: Will Grier, West Virginia

Offense
QB: Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
RB: Justice Hill, Oklahoma State
RB: Justin Crawford, West Virginia
FB: Winston Dimel, Kansas State
WR: Keke Coutee, Texas Tech
WR: Allen Lazard, Iowa State
WR: James Washington, Oklahoma State
TE: Mark Andrews, Oklahoma
OL: Orlando Brown, Oklahoma
OL: Zach Crabtree, Oklahoma State
OL: Dalton Risner, Kansas State
OL: Austin Schlotmann, TCU
OL: Connor Williams, Texas
K: Clayton Hatfield, Texas Tech
KR/PR: KaVontae Turpin, TCU

Defense
DL: Dorance Armstrong, Jr., Kansas
DL: Poona Ford, Texas
DL: Malcolm Roach, Texas
DL: K.J. Smith, Baylor
DL: Reggie Walker, Kansas State
LB: Travin Howard, TCU
LB: Malik Jefferson, Texas
LB: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Oklahoma
DB: Kamari Cotton-Moya, Iowa State
DB: Tre Flowers, Oklahoma State
DB: Nick Orr, TCU
DB: D.J. Reed, Kansas State
DB: Jordan Thomas, Oklahoma
P: Michael Dickson, Texas

Joe Mixon stars as No. 7 OU overpowers No. 14 Auburn in Sugar Bowl

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Oklahoma’s stars shined as the seventh-ranked Sooners pulled away from an overmatched No. 14 Auburn, cruising to a 35-19 Sugar Bowl victory on Monday night.

The Sooners were led by Joe Mixon, the center of attention both on and off the field throughout the night. Trailing 7-0 early in the second quarter and facing a 3rd-and-22 (one play after a Carl Lawson offsides penalty negated what would have been an Auburn stop), Mixon hauled in a 32-yard reception to extend the drive. Baker Mayfield tied the game five plays later on a 13-yard touchdown pass to Mark Andrews.

After a Daniel Carlson field goal nudged Auburn back in front, Mixon gave Oklahoma (11-2) a lead it would not relinquish when he plunged in from three yards out to put the Sooners up 14-10 with 3:37 to play in the first half. Mixon later added a 4-yard touchdown run and finished the night rushing 19 times for 91 yards and two touchdowns with a game-high five grabs for 89 yards.

That’s not to say Mixon was the only star of the night for Oklahoma, though. Mayfield (19-of-28 passing for 296 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions, four rushes for 34 yards) connected with Dede Westbrook six times for 59 yards and a 7-yard touchdown strike on the first drive of the third quarter. Needing 83 yards to top Billy Sims‘s all-time rushing record of 4,118 yards (including bowl games), Samaje Perine carried 16 times for 86 yards and a 2-yard touchdown. He finishes his third season in Norman with 4,121 career rushing yards.

Overall, Oklahoma rushed 43 times for 228 yards (5.3 a carry) and rolled up 524 total yards on 7.38 yards per play.

Auburn (8-5) started the game extremely well, opening with a ground-based 14-play, 75-yard touchdown drive punctuated by a 3-yard Chandler Cox touchdown plunge on a 4th-and-2. But quarterback Sean White reportedly broke his arm on a rush one play before that and, though he would go on to play most of the first half, was ultimately replaced by John Franklin III. Franklin led Auburn to a second Carlson field goal to pull the Tigers within 14-13 at the half but did not dent the scoreboard in the second half before leaving with an injury of his own. Jeremy Johnson finished the game for Auburn; the three signal callers combined to complete 12-of-26 passes for 153 yards with an end zone interception tossed by Johnson. Kamryn Pettway led all rushers with 24 carries for 101 yards, and Kerryon Johnson rushed nine times for 33 yards. Johnson also tossed a 1-yard jump pass touchdown to Jalen Harris on the final play of the game, a play Auburn coach Gus Malzahn called two timeouts to set up with his team trailing by 22 at the time.

The win extends Oklahoma’s winning streak over the hated SEC to four games, its overall winning streak to 10 and, equally important in this College Football Playoff era, pushes the Big 12 into 2017 with a 4-2 overall bowl record, including two wins over the SEC in three tries.