Seems like every week in this space, we talk about Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and his motivation, the grudges he holds, the burden he bears and the chip on his shoulder – some real, some imagined. Seems like every week in this space there’s a lot of Mayfield musings. Possibly too much. Perhaps there will be a time when that’s not the case.
Today is not that time.
Houston embarrassed Oklahoma. Ohio State exposed the Sooners and Kansas State revealed who Oklahoma really is.
Now we get to find out who Baker Mayfield is, sort of. This week, this game, this #lyfe is made for Baker Mayfield.
Saturday vs. Texas Tech is Christmas for Mayfield where he’s excited, filled with anticipation about his return to Lubbock, Texas, to play his former team – the one he walked away from after winning the starting job and being subsequently benched.
This is the biggest game of the season for Mayfield and you know, 1. you’ll be worried about how he’s internalizing it all. Admit it. It’s true and here’s 24 more predictions sure to be true as OU tries to remain unbeaten in Big 12 play.
Mayfield will want to pass it and pass it and pass it. He’ll want to mix in some trash talk and show everyone in West Texas what they’ve missed out. And Bob Stoops and the Oklahoma coaches know that, too. That’s why OU will:
2. Run the ball. Early and often
3. Have more than 275 yards rushing, 4. including more than 100 in the first quarter.
5. Have a life coach on the sideline just in case Mayfield needs a “talking to.”
I mean, come one, can you blame Mayfield? No, you can’t. He wants to teach Tech a lesson and 6. you want him to also. The game’s storyline is Mayfield, but 7. it will belong to running back Joe Mixon. Mixon will:
8. Run for a touchdown
9. Catch a touchdown pass
10. Take the pressure off of Mayfield by having his best game of the season.
Even with all that, chances are better than good 11. Mayfield will be caught more than once on camera trash talking to players, 12. pumping up his teammates, 13. fixing his headband.
14. Mayfield, not Tech’s Patrick Mahomes, will be the best quarterback on the field and that point will be made when 15. Mahomes throws an interception on Tech’s first series and when 15. OU scores a defensive touchdown.
No, running back Samaje Perine isn’t going to play, and yes, that means more pressure on Mixon and freshman Abdul Adams, and of course Mayfield. But OU has more pieces, more momentum and more ability to sustain itself through four quarters. The Sooners also have DeDe Westbrook, who will, thanks to the often-invisible Tech defense:
16. Have more than 150 yards receiving
17. Throw for a touchdown pass
18. Catch two touchdown passes.
Tech is known as an offensive team, void of physicality and interest on the defensive end. But the Red Raiders will be motivated for reasons you already know about. 19. Tech will sack Mayfield at least three times, 20. get a fumble, 21. and an interception. 22. Tech will play its best game of the season.
23. It won’t matter. OU is just better. 24. Mayfield will be the one smiling and possibly talking when it’s over. 25. Give the 14 points, Sooners win 51-28.
Last week: 13-12