Oklahoma football: Mayfield sparks mayhem as Sooners storm to 55-7 opening win

NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 02: Wide receiver Marquise Brown
NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 02: Wide receiver Marquise Brown /

Attention Sooner naysayers who doubt the staying power of Oklahoma football under new head coach Lincoln Riley. This Sooner team is for real, and is loaded with talent and swagger.

Led by two-time Heisman Trophy finalist Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma rolled to a dominant 55-7 win over University of Texas-El Paso to extend the Sooners nation-best active winning streak to 11 games.

Oklahoma took just a little over two minutes after receiving the opening kickoff to go 74 yards in six plays to score the first touchdown in the game and go up 7-0. The Miners looked impressive on their opening possession, as well, marching 78 yards in eight plays to pull even at 7-7 midway through the first quarter.

That is when the complexion of the game changed dramatically. After gaining 78 yards on their first possession of the game, UTEP managed just 74 total yards and seven first downs the remainder of the game.

Mayfield played only the first half, with backup quarterback Kyler Murray taking over in the second half. Third-string QB Tanner Schafer also saw action in the game, replacing Murray on the Sooners final possession with the game long decided.

Mayfield was as sharp as ever while he was in the game, completing 16 consecutive passes from the opening whistle and 19 of 20 for 329 yards in the first half, including three touchdown passes to three different receivers. Ten different receivers caught passes for the Sooners in the first 30 minutes of the game, with junior tight end Mark Andrews pulling in seven receptions for 135 yards, all in the first half.

Oklahoma Sooners Football
Oklahoma Sooners Football /

Oklahoma Sooners Football

The UTP defense had no answer for the Sooner talented tight end, and that proved to be a major factor in the Sooners separating themselves from the Miners in the opening 30 minutes.

Murray’s outing was also stellar in his first game action as a Sooner after transferring from Texas A&M after the 2015 season. The redshirt sophomore overthrew the receiver on his first pass attempt, but followed that with 10 consecutive completions for 149 yards and a touchdown pass.

The Sooners scored on eight of 10 total possessions, punting just one time in the game. Eight different Oklahoma players scored touchdowns. The diversity also carried over to the pass-receiving targets and the running backs deployed in the contest for the Sooners.

Fourteen different receivers caught passes for Oklahoma and nine different players were credited with rushing yards with Abdul Adams, Marcelias Sutton and true freshman Trey Sermon all gaining over 50 yards on the ground.

Oklahoma rolled up 676 yards of total offense to just 167. The Sooner defense held the Miners to under 100 yards rushing and passing. ( 94 passing and 73 rushing).

The Sooners substituted liberally in the second half, giving valuable playing time to players several layers down on the depth chart and in an attempt to prevent any serious injuries to key players with a marquee national game on tap in just seven more days.

Oklahoma did suffer what appeared to be a serious injury to one member of the defensive unit. Cornerback Jordan Parker was helped off the field in the second quarter with an apparent leg injury. He was seen on the sidelines in the second half in sweat clothes and on crutches.

It was a an overall dominant victory for the Sooners, the 12th straight at home to open the season.

The quality of the opponent ratchets up considerably next Saturday, when Oklahoma goes on the road to take on No. 2-ranked Ohio State in a rematch from a year ago. No one needs to remind this group of Sooners what happened in last year’s game.

Oklahoma’s current 11-game winning streak commenced after a 45-24 loss to the Buckeyes last season.