NORMAN, Okla. —To say Baker Mayfield, a former gunslinger at Lake Travis High School and impassioned Sooner leader, was automatic through four quarters of the 38-20 Oklahoma victory against Texas Christian University on Saturday at the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium may be an understatement.
The type of 38-point, 299 yards and three touchdowns on 15-for-21 passing-type of an understatement. The type of performance Austin had seen before from its former 6,000-yard passer with a 67-to-8 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
It was more than the Associated Press No. 5 Sooners catapult up the rankings after a loss by No. 1 Georgia to Auburn and a near-upset scare from No. 2 Alabama against Mississippi State. It was more than how he consistently maneuvered around — and through — the Big 12 Conference’s best defense.
It was more than the sparkling array of back shoulder throws and NFL-level progression he displayed through the first 30 minutes of collegiate football, including a 13-yard strike to Grant Calcaterra and back-to-back throws of 14 and 33 yards to Rodney Anderson — the proverbial nail in the coffin.
It was how, in one felled swoop, Oklahoma evened the playing field between the Big 12 and the other four Power 5 Conferences, limited TCU’s scoring to a 3-yard touchdown from Hill, Jr. to Kyle Hicks in the fourth quarter, and presumably eliminated the last Lone Star State team from the running for a College Football Playoff bowl game.
Mayfield’s 196.4 passing efficiency last year set an FBS all-time single-season record. He’s tracking to break his own record this year. Mayfield puts up Madden-like statistics week in and week out, but this time he did it against defensive guru Gary Patterson and a better-than-billed defense.
Mayfield finished 18-for-27 with 333 yards and a trio of touchdown throws.
More importantly, Saturday night was about how the Sooners flipped the script and held an equally offensively explosive offensive team to 20 points despite 424 total yards. TCU finished with 19 first downs on 13 total drives and Kenny Hill, Jr. (13-28, 270 yards, TD) ended Saturday with one of his most inefficient games of the season.
Only two backs — Anderson (7 rush, 42 yards, TD) and Hill, Jr. (8 rush, 40 yards) — neared the 50-yard mark. None reached the 100-yard mark. The Sooners, however, saw Anderson (23 rush, 151 yards, 2 TD) and Mayfield (11 rush, 50 yards) out gain TCU’s six rushers by 46 yards.
The Horned Frogs suffered their second loss to an AP top-25 team in three weeks while Oklahoma added the victory over No. 6 TCU to a season resume that includes wins against No. 11 Ohio State and No. 12 Oklahoma State. Oklahoma faces Kansas on the road in Manhattan before returning home to Norman to face No. 23 West Virginia in their season finale.
TCU will face Texas Tech in Lubbock next week and will face Baylor to close the college football regular season.
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