Revenge is a dish best served cold. And, for Oklahoma, it’s best served in Columbus — and in a heaping helping for good measure.
Last season in Week 3, Ohio State went into Norman and dominated Oklahoma in a 45-24 win. In Week 2 a year later, the No. 5 Sooners returned the favor, outplaying, overmatching and overwhelming the No. 2 Buckeyes in every facet of the game in a 31-16 win.
The first half had the feel of a blowout, with the Sooners outgaining the Buckeyes 222-92; the scoreboard, however, read just 3-3 after two quarters. The second half began with a seven-play drive that ended with a six-yard rushing touchdown by true freshman running back J.K. Dobbins that gave OSU a 10-3 lead. From that point on, it was all OU, on the stat sheet and, most importantly, on the scoreboard.
On the strength of Baker Mayfield‘s right arm and unmatched leadership, the Sooners scored 21 straight points on a trio of touchdowns to take a 31-13 lead in the middle of the fourth quarter that essentially put the game out of reach, with the 2016 Heisman Trophy finalist accounting for two of those scores with a pair of touchdown passes. For the game, the fifth-year senior passed 386 yards and three touchdowns in a 27-of-35 passing performance that will likely vault Mayfield to near the top of the very short list of legitimate 2017 Heisman contenders.
At the opposite end of the signal-calling spectrum was J.T. Barrett, who continued to regress before the eyes of nearly anyone with a lick of sense. The ninth-year senior went 19-of-35 for 183 yards, no touchdowns and an interception, with a chunk of the positive stats coming in garbage time when the game was completely out of reach.
The win marked the biggest victory of Lincoln Riley‘s nascent head-coaching career. The 34-year-old Riley, whose birthday was earlier this week, took over for Bob Stoops after the longtime OU head coach abruptly retired this summer.
Riley’s former boss was in attendance in Columbus; suffice to say, he was excited over the developments.
Bob Stoops is loving it. pic.twitter.com/ufUItrEnGN
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) September 10, 2017
So, what does the future hold for both teams?
For Oklahoma, they have a very clear path to the College Football Playoff. With the win over No.2 on its resume, the Sooners, the overwhelming preseason favorite in the Big 12, needs to merely run the table (including the renewal of the Big 12 title game) and they will earn one of the four playoff spots. The road win also seemingly gives OU a cushion in the minds of the CFP committee should they stumble at some point during the regular season.
For Ohio State? They could run the table as well, including the Big Ten championship game, and feel relatively comfortable with its playoff positioning as such a run would include wins over Penn State, Michigan and whoever comes out of the West. Can they do that with Barrett at quarterback? That’s the question that Urban Meyer and his offensive coaching staff will need to look deep into in the next couple of weeks and figure out before OSU’s title hopes evaporate in a sea of incompletions and defenses daring the Buckeyes to beat them with the pass.