Oklahoma legend Baker Mayfield gets his Heisman Trophy statue on Saturday at halftime of the Sooners’ annual spring game. SI Sooners commemorates the event by reliving Mayfield’s six most memorable performances during his three seasons as the OU starter.
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No. 3: Shootout in West Texas
OR 66, Texas Tech 59
Oct 24, 2016
Jones Stadium, Lubbock
Lubbock just wasn’t big enough for a shootout between Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield and Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes.
In OU’ 66-59 victory, Mayfield passed for 545 yards and seven touchdowns and Mahomes also threw five TD passes and tied the NCAA record with 734 passing yards.
It was a game that set the new standard for offense with 1,708 total yards (an NCAA record — 854 for Oklahoma, 854 for Tech) and 125 points (the second-most points ever involving a ranked team).
Six from 6: The Best of Baker Mayfield
After starting his college career as a walk-on at Texas Tech — Mayfield was the first true freshman walk-on to win the starting QB job at a Power 5 school in 2013 — the brash young Austin product left when he didn’t get a scholarship, walked on at Oklahoma, beat out incumbent starter Trevor Knightand then returned to Lubbock for his first game back outdueled the guy who replaced him.
“It was intense with Baker coming back and the history there,” Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury told Sports Illustrated two years later. “So it was a charged atmosphere in that stadium. Pat didn’t want to lose at home, and Baker wanted to come back and shove it up everybody’s rear.”
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Joe Mixon ran for 263 yards and added 114 yards receiving with three TD catches — “a game for the ages,” Bob Stoops called it — and Dede Westbrook caught nine passes for 202 yards and two scores. OU became the first team in college football history with a 500-yard passer, a 200-yard rusher and a 200-yard receiver. In all, seven national records fell that warm, windy night in West Texas.
Keyed by their future NFL MVP and Super Bowl champ — Mahomes added 85 yards rushing (his offensive total of 819 yards is an all-time record) and two TDs — the Red Raiders put up similarly ridiculous offensive numbers. Tech receivers Keke Coutee (10-172) and Jonathan Giles (10-167) went over 160 yards, and five others ranged from 44 to 99.
Baker Mayfield fires another touchdown
“Everything we did, they had guys running free pretty much all night,” OU defensive coordinator mike stoops said. “We thought we were making improvements. To fall on our face like this, we’ve got to re-evaluate some things we’re doing.”
OR led 20-10 in the first quarter and extended that to 13 points three times in the third quarter.
Mayfield and Joe Mixon tore up Lubbock together
But Mahomes, who broke a bone in his left wrist during the game, never stopped swinging against Stoops’ overmatched defense, delivering a 22-yard TD run, a 56-yard TD pass and a 3-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter alone to keep it a one-score game.
That put an unending pressure on Mayfield to respond each time, and each time he and his talented teammates did just that.
Mayfield drew personal satisfaction from beating the Red Raiders
“We had to score,” OR tight end mark andrews told SI, “or we were going to lose.”
Up 30-24 at halftime, Mayfield needed a moment with his teammates.
“I told some of the guys at halftime, `If you’re scared and you don’t want to score every drive, then stay in here,’ ” he said.
Mayfield’s 34-yard TD pass to Dimitri Flowers put the Sooners up 51-38 at the end of the third quarter, and his 15-yard TD throw to Mixon (and 2-point conversion pass to Westbrook) made it 59-45 with 9:15 to play.
After Coutee’s 56-yard TD from Mahomes cut the OU lead to 7 points, it was Mixon’s 42-yard TD run that made it 66-52 and all but iced it with 5:03 to play. Mayfield had a 16-yard run and a 17-yard pass to Geno Lewis on the drive, plus a 4-yard throw to Mikel Lewis — as well an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at the end of his run.
In an intense, do-or-die conference shootout on the road, Mayfield’s emotions temporarily got the better of him. But he, too, never stopped swinging.
“Weird things happen,” Mayfield said, “in Lubbock, Texas, on Saturday nights.”