Mark Andrews

Associated Press

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.

Oklahoma leads Auburn as Sean White heads to locker room

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The combination of Baker Mayfield and Joe Mixon has shined, and Oklahoma holds a 14-13 lead over Auburn midway through the Sugar Bowl. The Tigers are playing without starting quarterback Sean White; ESPN’s Kaylee Hartung reported White had his right forearm examined by Dr. James Andrews inside the Superdome.

Auburn posted the only score of the first quarter, a vintage Gus Malzahn-Auburn drive. The Tigers moved 75 yards in 14 plays over nearly six minutes, running on all but two of those 14 snaps — including a 3-yard Chandler Cox plunge on 4th-and-2.

Oklahoma tied the game early in the second quarter, trudging 90 yards in 14 plays with major help from Auburn defensive end Carl Lawson. The Sooners were momentarily forced off the field after not converting a 3rd-and-27 from their own 34, but an offside penalty provided OU another shot, and Mayfield made the most of it with a 30-yard completion to Mixon. Mayfield completed the drive with a 13-yard scoring strike to tight end Mark Andrews.

After a 49-yard Daniel Carlson nudged Auburn back ahead with 7:16 left in the second quarter, Oklahoma grabbed its first lead with a 75-yard drive keyed by a 26-yard strike from Mayfield to Dede Westbrook on 4th-and-4 from the Auburn 29. Mixon plunged in from three yards out one play later to hand Oklahoma a 14-10 lead with 3:37 left in the frame. Mixon finished the half carrying 10 times for 45 yards and a score with three receptions for a game-high 73 yards. Mayfield has hit 8-of-14 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown.

John Franklin III entered for White on Auburn’s final drive of the half and hit 2-of-4 passes for 21 yards while adding two rushes for nine yards. More importantly, Franklin guided Auburn 63 yards in 10 plays to set up Carlson for a 39-yard field goal with 41 seconds left in the half. Kamryn Pettway has led the Tigers’ attack with 18 carries for 79 yards; as a team, Auburn has rushed 29 times for 123 yards.

Oklahoma will receive to open the second half.

No. 9 OU starts fast, holds off No. 14 West Virginia in Big 12 showdown

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No. 9 Oklahoma raced to a massive lead and held off a late surge from No. 14 West Virginia to secure a 56-28 win in a snowy Morgantown on Saturday night.

The first 40 minutes of the contest was a story of how Oklahoma could do nothing wrong and West Virginia couldn’t get out of its own way. It started when West Virginia muffed a punt after OU’s first possession, which the Sooners immediately turned into a touchdown. That theme continued, as West Virginia twice coughed up the ball inside the Sooners’ 5-yard line and committed a number of personal fouls, which, coupled with big plays from Oklahoma’s 4-headed monster of Baker MayfieldSamaje PerineJoe Mixon and Dede Westbrook, aided the Sooners to a 34-7 halftime lead.

West Virginia quarterback Skyler Howard compounded the misery when he tossed an 80-yard pick six to OU linebacker Jordan Evans, pushing the lead to 41-7 at the 13:09 mark of the third quarter.

Hidden inside that 34-point deficit, though, was that West Virginia moved the ball well in between turnovers. Once Evans left the game with an injury and WVU stopped shooting itself with both feet, the Mountaineers mounted scoring drives of 63, 79 and 85 yards to turn a 41-7 laugher into a 41-28 shootout with 10:07 still remaining.

But Oklahoma, which had done absolutely nothing offensively in the second half, put together one last drive, moving 65 yards in 11 plays, capped by a 1-yard Mayfield run and a 2-point pass to tight end Mark Andrews to push the lead to 49-28 with 4:37 to play.

Mayfield finished the night completing 9-of-15 passes for 169 yards with two touchdowns and one interception while adding two scores on the ground. Perine and Mixon combined to carry 55 times for 307 yards and three touchdowns, and Westbrook caught two passes for 100 yards and a score.

For its part, West Virginia nearly matched OU yard-for-yard. Howard hit 12-of-26 throws for 191 yards with two scores and a pick-six while rushing 12 times for 52 yards and two touchdowns. Justin Crawford poured in a monster night with 24 carries for 331 yards.

The win pushes Oklahoma (9-2, 8-0 Big 12) into a winner-take-all Bedlam game with No. 11 Oklahoma State on Dec. 3, while West Virginia (8-2, 5-2 Big 12) has been eliminated from Big 12 contention but can still record just the sixth 11-win season in program history.