Oklahoma football: Where things stand halfway through the 2017 season

3 of 5
DALLAS, TX – OCTOBER 14: Baker Mayfield
DALLAS, TX – OCTOBER 14: Baker Mayfield /

Best performance

As a team, this one is fairly easy. The win over then-No. 2 Ohio State in Columbus not only was the biggest win by Oklahoma through its first six games of 2017 but may just be the biggest win so far of the college football season. OU was brilliant on offense in that game, and the Sooner defense played by far its best game of the season in holding down the potent Ohio State offense that ranks No. 2  in the country among FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) teams (one spot better than Oklahoma).

On an individual basis, the performances of several Sooners have stood out so far this season, but you have to start with fifth-year-senior quarterback and team leader Baker Mayfield. Mayfield’s performance against Ohio State (27 of 35 passes for 386 yards and three touchdowns) was a work of art and the critical success factor in Oklahoma’s upset win.

Iin Saturday’s win over Texas. The Sooner quarterback did not attempt as many passes as he did in the win at Ohio State. He completed 17 of 27 passes against the Longhorns and two touchdowns, extending his school record of 32 consecutive games (every game he has played at Oklahoma) with at least two TD passes.

The first of those two touchdown passes against Texas came in the opening minutes of the game, a 54-yard pass to Jeff Badet that triggered an OU scoring run of 20 unanswered points through the middle of the second quarter. The final touchdown pass came late in the game and after Mayfield had suffered a hard hit to his throwing shoulder several series before.

After being attended to on the bench by OU medical personnel and appearing as if he might be forced out of the game with an injury, Mayfield summoned the grit and determination he has shown throughout his Oklahoma career. With the Sooners trailing Texas 24-23 midway through the fourth quarter, Mayfield returned to the field and, three plays after the Longhorns had taken their first lead in the game, launched at pass to a wide-open Mark Andrews streaking down the right sideline for a 59-yard TD strike that proved to be the game-winning score.

Mayfield fought off injury and adversity to lead the Sooners to a comeback victory over their hated Red River rivals in a very physical and emotionally charged game. Under the circumstances, I believe this was his best performance of the season and the most impressive by a Sooner this season.