By Michael Kinney
STILLWATER – Wearing some shorts, a white polo and a handmade headband Baker Mayfield looked exhausted. Less than a half hour after engineering a dramatic, high scoring win over rival Oklahoma State, the Oklahoma quarterback could hardly open up his post-game meal as he sat alone in a secluded hallway inside the bowls of Boone Pickens Stadium.
The fifth-ranked Sooners 62-52 victory over the No. 11 Cowboys lasted four and a half hours. There were no overtimes, weather delays or major injuries. Just a lot of points scored and records broken in the highest scoring Bedlam game ever. And Mayfield was at the center of it all.
“He was awesome. Played at an elite level and broke a school record for passing,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said. “What more could you say. The guy, he’s awesome.”
Mayfield ended the day with a school record 598 yards, six total touchdowns and two interceptions.
However, he was just as impressed with the performances of his teammates.
“I think not just for me, but a lot of guys played well. No, we didn’t rush the ball for a lot but the pass protection is unbelievable,” Mayfield said. “They had a couple sacks but those were on me. Guys played well. We did our job at a high level offensively, which we needed to.”
They needed to because of the caliber of offense Oklahoma was facing on the other side. As impressive of a night as the Sooner attack had, Mason Rudolph and the Pokes were right on their heels the entire night.
In fact, late in the game, OSU got the ball on the 20-yard line after Mayfield’s second interception. With the Sooners leading 55-52, the Cowboys had enough time to tie the game or take the lead.
When a targeting penalty on Oklahoma’s Will Johnson nullified a Rudolph interception, the Pokes were in prime position to snatch the game from OU.
However, for only the seventh time on the night, the OU defense came up with a stop and prevented OSU from scoring.
“That was a heck of a college football game,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. “I wish we could have made a couple of plays at the end, but they ended up making a couple of plays at the end and we didn’t. We had our shot in the last couple of minutes and we didn’t. I told them that I’m proud of their effort, being resilient. I’ve been in a lot of weird games at Oklahoma State, but I don’t remember being in one like that.”
The two teams combined for 114 points, 1,446 yards, 62 first downs and three punts.
“We do the little things right and the big plays will come which is what you see in the guys like Marquise Brown and CeeDee with big conversions and Mark and Mykel Jones and Trey Sermon,” Mayfield said. “We just did our job tonight and that was the most important thing for us.”
However, the first possession didn’t go as Oklahoma planned. After a penalty on the first play, Mayfield threw an interception.
The Cowboys missed their opportunity to put six on the bard and had to settle for a field goal.
The Sooners almost found themselves trailing 10-0 when Abdul Adams fumbled and the Cowboys returned it for a touchdown early in first quarter.
However, the replay showed it was an incomplete pass. That was the second touchdown taken away from OSU in less than five minutes.
Oklahoma finally made Oklahoma State pay for the miscues when Mayfield hit Dimitri Flowers for a 49-yard touchdown pass. It gave OU a 7-3 advantage.
That didn’t last long as Oklahoma State drove 75 yards on the ensuing possession. It ended with a touchdown to from Rudolph to Marcell Ateman to put the Cowboys up 10-7 with 6:56 left in the first quarter.
But once again, the Sooners found an answer. A 55-yard pass to Mark Andrews set up a Jeff Badet touchdown run. On the following possession, Mayfield added a 7-yard run on the first play of the second quarter.
The touchdowns kept coming in the second quarter. Both OSU and OUwere making big plays downfield and taking advantage of poor tackling.
The teams were tied at 38-38 at halftime.
In the second half, the Sooners and Pokes threw haymaker bomb after haymaker bomb at each other. One series Mayfield connected for a 43 yard TD pass to Rodney Anderson. OSU answered on a 72 yard Rudolph (448 yards, 5 TDs) heave.
Not to be outdone, Mayfield came back with a 77-yard strike to Brown, who set a school record with 265 yards receiving.
“It was like a 15-rounder tonight,” Riley said. “It was a heavyweight battle and both teams laid it all on the line.”
The Sooners (8-1, 5-1 Big 12) will find themselves in another heavyweight bout when they take on No. 8 TCU (8-1) at 7 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
Michael Kinney is a Freelance Content Writer for Eyeamtruth.com