Baker Mayfield (twice).
What do these four players have in common?
They have all been Heisman Finalists and have all faced off with a Gary Patterson defense - all in the last two seasons.
The Big 12, and Oklahoma, saw a conference QB win the most coveted award in college football Saturday for the second December in a row Saturday, when Sooner QB Kyler Murray soundly defeated Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State. Gary Patterson is basically an authority on four of those players, having faced off with them as the head coach of the Horned Frogs over the last two seasons. Patterson saw Baker Mayfield twice in 2017, before meeting up with Bryce Love in the Alamo Bowl, and saw Haskins and Ohio State in September of this season prior to matching up with Murray and OU in October. “Having playing against Haskins, Bryce Love last year, Baker… we have played a lot of Heisman hopefuls here, the last two seasons.” Patterson was asked if, indeed, the Heisman Trust got it right Saturday, in naming Murray the 2018 winner. “I think all three of them are really good players, but if you just look at the end, how he played, how he did things - I think so.”
Though Patterson believes Murray was the rightful winner - something he alluded to after the Frogs’ last regular season game, when he likened playing Oklahoma’s offense to ‘recess - and it’s full blast” - he sees the merits of all three finalists, and Will Grier, who was a candidate to get to NYC as well. “I hate comparing them, because to me, everybody is a good player. Everybody in their own right is a good player because of what they do and what they do for their university.”
Patterson ended his thoughts by mentioning the thing that impressed him most, and it wasn’t their play, their statistics, or their wins - but something off the field that ultimately won him over. “I was watching last night, when they tried to get them to say something against each other, and they just ignored the question. They all went up in my eyes because they ignored the question which is what you should do, that’s the mature thing to do.”