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Oklahoma Offensive Player to Watch: QB Baker Mayfield

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From record setting walk-on, to transfer student, to up and coming Heisman candidate, here is everything you need to know about the QB of the Oklahoma Sooners.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Let me start off by listing the things that make Baker Mayfield my second favorite quarterback in the Big 12:

  • Have a killer hair flow

- Check.

- Check.

- Check.

  • Have a killer set of dance moves:

-Check.

Truly a man after my own heart.

While all of the things listed above are impressive, the thing that I like the most about Mayfield is his moxie. He's extremely competitive and he appears to be playing better week after week. Other than our very own Trevone Boykin, there isn't a more fun player to watch, right now, than Baker Mayfield. However, this isn't the first time that he's been in the college football spotlight. Let's take a look at how he got here:

2013

The Lake Travis native became the first walk-on true freshman ever to be the starting quarterback for a season opener at a Power 5 school. He had thrown for 780 yards within his first two games. The last time that he played against TCU was in his first conference game that season, where the Red Raiders would go on to upset (heavy sigh) the then-24th ranked Horned Frogs in Lubbock. Did the most frustrating officiating performance of all time have a little bit to do with it...maybe, but we won't talk about that.

Mayfield would go down due to injury and only appear in eight games that season, finishing the year with 2315 yards passing, 12 touchdown passes, and 9 interceptions.. Despite being awarded Big 12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year, he announced that he would be transferring to Oklahoma. His reason for transferring was because of all of the "miscommunication" with the coaching staff.

I don't blame him for wanting to get out of Lubbock, but it's ridiculous that Texas Tech didn't offer him a scholarship ASAP after his performance that year. Obviously, there was more to him leaving than just simple miss communication, and if you want to hear more of the story, you can check it out here.

2014

Baker officially enrolled at the University of Oklahoma and Bob Stoops announced that Mayfield would be walking on to the team. He had to sit out a year due to NCAA and Big 12 transfer restrictions.

He did come under a little flak during that year after he was accused of calling out TCU's signs, during the upset 37-33 upset in Fort Worth. While Bob Stoops officially denied this as truth, both Boykin and Patterson claimed that he was calling out their plays multiple times, due to his previous experience with co-offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie back at Tech. Also, I was on the front row of the student section, about 20 feet away from him...and I heard him call out some things. Were they our plays? Maybe. Maybe not.

Regardless, he was able to redeem himself about fifteen minutes later, when the student next to me jokingly shouted, "HEY BAKER, HOW'S KLIFF'S HAIR?". In response he threw up the "A-Okay" hand sign, without even turning around. Well played Baker, well played. It gave me a good laugh, and shows that the dude can take a joke. Maybe a former TCU QB could take some notes from this one.

2015

After a rather underwhelming season, where the Sooners finished 8-5, Stoops named Baker the starting quarterback for the start of the season. Bob also retooled the Sooner offense with the addition of Lincoln Riley, from East Carolina, as the new offensive coordinator.

He looked solid in his first performance in crimson and creme, but his first big game was in Knoxville in front of 100,000 screaming Volunteers. He had a rough first half, throwing for 2 interceptions, but was able to overcome that by playing lights out in the second half and coming out with the double overtime victory. He was as clutch as you can possibly be in that scenario, and I'll admit, he proved me wrong for picking against the Sooners in that one.

Did he and his team fall victim to Texas in the king of all trap games? Yes they did, and it seemed like they were about to have yet another disappointing year in Norman, but the opposite happened. Since that loss, Oklahoma has outscored their opponents by a total of 192 points. Apparently wind and points come sweeping down the plains.

What has made Mayfield so successful and fun to watch on the field? Well, I've been able to watch a lot more of his games this year than when he was at Tech, and this is what I've gotten so far. Along with his competitive drive, the guy isn't afraid to make those risky throws. He's no Brett Favre, but he'll sling the ball every chance he gets. He's very elusive in and out of the pocket, but regardless of where he is on the field, he manages to get the ball to his targets. Including his favorite target Sterling Shepard...who is going to burn us at least once this weekend. I haven't seen pressure affect him too much this season, so he stays cool for the most part when the pocket begins to collapse.

If we ever do get to him this weekend, I won't be comfortable that the play is over until I officially see his knee hit the ground. He's been building up a Heisman like season ever since the loss to Texas, and it is looking like there is little anyone can do to stop him. Let's hope Patterson finds a way.

In comparison to Boykin, let's take a look at their stats, side by side.

Boykin has accounted for:

  • 3427 passing yards.
  • 29 passing touchdowns.
  • 9 interceptions.
  • 596 rushing yards.
  • 8 rushing touchdowns.

Whereas Mayfield has thrown for:

  • 3082 passing yards
  • 31 touchdowns
  • 5 interceptions.
  • Rushing for 301 yards
  • 6 rushing touchdowns.

So if he's not on Boykin's level yet...he's pretty dang close. You can also see more in the "Felts o graphic" in Marsh's preview of Oklahoma.

Baker has grown on me, and while I by no means am a OU fan, I don't dislike them as much as I used to. The reason being that if the Sooners are playing, it means that I get the chance to watch Mayfield go to work. Now if only they could do something about that fight song.

How to beat him:

It looks like the best way that the Frogs are going to be able to beat Mayfield and the Sooners is by keeping him off the field for as long as possible. We have to run the clock and control the game better than they do. When he is on the field, our defense is going to need to make as few mistakes as possible, because he'll make us pay for the ones that we do make.