Football is weird.
After No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 11 Oklahoma State each scored 38 points in the first half on Saturday, key defensive plays in the second half helped decide the game – a game won 62-52 by the Sooners.
Oklahoma had a chance to salt the game away with three minutes left and a 55-52 lead. But on second-and-goal from the 6, quarterback Baker Mayfield threw his second pick of the day.
The interception was returned to Oklahoma State’s 35. But the Cowboys couldn’t get close to the end zone, even with the help of a targeting penalty from Oklahoma. Mason Rudolph’s deep pass on fourth-and-8 fell incomplete with 54 seconds left and Oklahoma took over.
Stunningly, the first 10 minutes of the third quarter were scoreless before Oklahoma kicked a field goal to get a 41-38 lead with less than five minutes left in the period. Oklahoma State was in prime position to take the lead on the next drive, but Mason Rudolph threw an interception into double coverage in the end zone.
Oklahoma scored three plays later and the Cowboys never got closer than three points away again.
Mayfield threw two interceptions on Saturday after entering the game with just three all season. But he threw for a crazy 598 yards and five touchdowns on 24-of-36 passing. Rudolph, meanwhile, was 27-of-50 for 437 yards and also threw for five touchdowns along with two interceptions.
Despite those two picks, Mayfield established himself as one of the clear favorites in the Heisman race, if only because of the struggles of others. Penn State and RB Saquon Barkley lost. So did Stanford and RB Bryce Love. Oh, and Ohio State’s JT Barrett threw four interceptions in the Buckeyes’ blowout loss to Iowa.
We suddenly may be living in Mayfield’s Heisman world.
The teams combined for over 1,400 yards of total offense. It’s a staggering amount, though well short of the 1,708-yard record that Oklahoma and Texas Tech set a year ago.
The win sets up a de facto Big 12 regular season championship game next week between Oklahoma and No. 8 TCU. We say regular season, because the two teams are likely to meet in the Big 12 championship game three weeks later. Both teams now hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over Oklahoma State and Iowa State suffered its second conference loss of the season on Saturday at West Virginia.
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