As expected, the story line coming into Texas Tech vs Oklahoma revolved around a “revenge” factor for former Tech quarterback Baker Mayfield. ESPN certainly could not be accused of not trying to play up this angle because they seemed to remind us every chance they got. The home audience would have to listen to the announcing crew’s constant reminders of Mayfield’s supposed motivations. If the on-air talent wasn’t talking about it then we were treated to continuous shots of the OU quarterback on the sideline. Sometimes drinking water, sometimes talking to coaches and sometimes cheering on his defense. Ok, rant over.
Alas, it turns out a football game was, in fact, being played. And while Mayfield wouldn’t be much of a factor in this game (he didn’t need to be), the day would ultimately be dominated by the Sooners. Oklahoma would eviscerate the Tech defensive line up front as the OU backs would rumble to 405 yards on the ground.
The first quarter would end with OU up 14-3 courtesy of a couple of rushing touchdowns from Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon. However, fueled by their defense generating a couple of turnovers, Tech would briefly raise some eyebrows in Norman. The Red Raiders pulled to within 21-17 in the second quarter but it wouldn’t take long for the Sooners squash their opponent’s comeback hopes. OU would go into the locker room up 28-17 and would run away with it from there. Literally.
Oklahoma’s offensive line put on an all-day clinic as OU’s primary running backs, Perine and Mixon, would have 8.7 and 9.6 yards-per-carry respectively. In the second half Lincoln Riley would figure out he didn’t need to call many passing plays. From there on the Sooners made it look easy. Aside from the two first-half turnovers, OU’s offense was relentless and did a great job of staying in attack mode. Tech’s out-manned defenders were on their heals pretty much all afternoon.
The Sooner defense came to play as well by pestering Patrick Mahomes who had, by far, his worst performance to date. Mahomes had only one touchdown to his four interceptions on the day. Three in the first half alone. He looked uncomfortable and, on multiple occasions, missed wide-open receivers. Even a linebacker would get in on the Mahomes interception frenzy. Eric Striker, while lurking on the line of scrimmage, would leap and snatch one of the Tech QB’s first quarter passes out of the air. The 6’1 233-pounder would return it 33 yards to the Tech three yard-line. OU would immediately score after that.
Baker Mayfield ended up going 15-22 for 212 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. His only big miscue of the afternoon was an interception which would help spark Tech’s second quarter comeback. In the end though, it would ultimately be without consequence. While ESPN did overplay the revenge card in my opinion, Mayfield was definitely showing some emotion.
|Game Stats||Texas Tech||Oklahoma|
|3rd Down Eff||12-18||10-13|
|4th Down Eff||0-1||1-1|
|Yds Per Pass||5.2||9.2|
|Yds Per Rush||4.3||7.1|
Key Point In The Game
This game certainly wasn’t without its key moments but the one I would single out is Patrick Mahomes’ third interception of the first half.
Tech would get two second quarter touchdowns, both turnovers to make it 21-17 and we had a ballgame. After another OU score would make it a 28-17 deficit, the Red Raider defense would force a missed OU field goal and hand their offense the ball back with 1:48 left in the first half and a golden opportunity.
Tech’s offense would get the ball into the red zone and were threatening another score which would’ve given them momentum going into halftime. However an ill-advised pass from Mahomes to Reginald Davis would be picked off by Dakota Austin in the end zone. Austin would smartly take a knee for a touch-back. It took all the wind out of Tech’s sails and the Sooners would dominate the rest of the game.
Emptying The Notebook
When you have a player going up against his former team, there will naturally be some extra motivation on both sides. Nonetheless it would seem both Mayfield and Mahomes are both great fits for their current situation and exactly where they want to be.
— Brian Holland (@BHollandSports) October 24, 2015
This highlight does an absolutely perfect job of encapsulating OU’s running game and Tech’s defense as a whole.
— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) October 24, 2015
On A Personal Note
College football is passion-invoking, fun and spirited. Those of us who follow it are treated with indescribeable thrills when our team notches a win and what seams like crushing sadness when defeated. Watching college football is something I’ve always enjoyed and hope to continue that enjoyment with my 10-month-old son one day, should he end up loving it as much as I do.
However every now and then an event occurs that reminds us just how unimportant sports are in the grand scheme of things. I am of course talking about the tragedy that took place in Stillwater, Oklahoma on Saturday. A tragedy that has taken four lives already and could possibly claim more.
An incident such as this makes no sense to me and, I’m sure, many others. As a football fan, as a friend to many Oklahoma State Alumni and, most importantly, as a father this tragedy generated a swarm of emotions in me. Confusion, anger and utter sadness just to name a few.
I am merely a football fan who enjoys writing for this sports blog. I won’t pretend that my words will do a great deal of healing or any at all for that matter. But to each and every one of you who were affected by this senseless tragedy in any way, shape or form please know something. I and my family are thinking of you. We’re praying for you.