Baker Mayfield, Sooners inch closer to Heisman, CFP with rout of TCU

NORMAN, Okla. — In carving up the Big 12’s best defense, Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield expanded his lead in the Heisman race.

And in obliterating the No. 6-ranked team, the surging Sooners sent another major statement to the College Football Playoff selection committee.

Fifth-ranked Oklahoma KO’ed TCU with 38 first-half points, then cruised to a 38-20 victory through two sleepy final quarters.

Gary Patterson’s TCU defense had given up 24 total points combined in its previous four games, but his Horned Frogs were no match for Mayfield or the nation’s top offense.

In a Big 12 showdown that reduced the league’s number of playoff contenders to one, Mayfield once again was spectacular off a week in which he earned all 12 first-place votes in the ESPN Heisman Watch. He threw for 299 yards in the first half alone and finished 18-of 27 passing for 333 yards and three touchdowns to go along with 50 yards on the ground.

Mayfield was hardly a one-man show, though.

Backfield wingman Rodney Anderson delivered his fourth consecutive 100-yard rushing performance against a defense that was ranked No. 1 nationally in stopping the run. Anderson, who wasn’t even part of Oklahoma’s regular running back rotation until mid-October, also led the Sooners with 139 receiving yards and tied a school record with four first-half touchdowns.

On a Saturday in which top-ranked Georgia and No. 3 Notre Dame each got clobbered, Oklahoma probably played its way into one of the coveted top four spots in the playoff rankings, which will be updated Tuesday.

Of course, to actually reach the playoff, the Sooners might have to defeat TCU a second time in December.

With Iowa State falling to Oklahoma State earlier Saturday, TCU still controls its own destiny to the Big 12 title game despite falling out of playoff contention.

Yet should TCU drop either of its two remaining conference games — at Texas Tech next weekend or at home to rival Baylor — Oklahoma State could slip into the Big 12 championship game instead, creating a Bedlam rematch of last weekend’s record 114-point shootout in Stillwater.

Leave a Response