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.