Hands down the best quarterback performance in Saturday's Red/White game belonged to Baker Mayfield. The Texas Tech transfer completed all nine of his passes for 125 yards and two scores and showed more control and poise than any of the other signal callers. With Mayfield ineligible until 2015 he's become the ultimate team player by contributing any way that he can.
"I had the plan to come here because I wanted to win a national championship," Mayfield said, "whether it's driving the defense on scout team or doing whatever. I grew up an OU fan, so I'm just trying to help out however I can."
In his first public appearance as an OU quarterback, Mayfield connected with tight end Taylor McNamara for an 8-yard scoring strike to put the White team up 14-3. He would later on hit Jordan Smallwood for a 28-yard scoring strike to become the only signal caller to throw multiple scores on the day.
Sugar Bowl hero, and incumbent starter, Trevor Knight turned in an unimpressive 5-for-14 performance for 53 yards and a pick. He was the only quarterback not to throw a touchdown on the afternoon.
Josh Heupel said that Knight's performance was the result of multiple factors but that its all about his progression at the position.
"It was a combination of everything," Oklahoma's offensive coordinator stated. "Not seeing the coverage or recognizing it. Today was not his best performance. He's continued to make strides since the Sugar Bowl. It's not like he played perfect in the Sugar Bowl, no quarterback is going too. He's really good but there are things he missed in that game, too. It's a constant process of continuing to get better and understanding defenses. He's by no means a finished product. The great thing about him is he's going to come to work tomorrow and keep pushing himself to get better."
The real quarterback competition this spring has been between Cody Thomas and Justice Hansen for the spot to back up Knight. While the both tossed scoring strikes in the game, Hansen (an early enrollee) also threw a team high two interceptions.
Thomas was responsible for the first score of the game when he found McNamera on a one-yard out route to put the White team up 7-0 in the first quarter. Hansen got his score with a beautiful over the shoulder throw to Austin Bennett to bring the Red team to within 14-10 midway through the second quarter.
While you have to admire the moxie of Hansen, kid should still be finishing up his senior year of high school right now, you just can't ignore the signs that he's trailing in the back up quarterback race. Not only was he outperformed by Thomas (5-9 for 52 yards with a score and no INTs) he was also the fourth quarterback to enter the game. Even Baker Mayfield made it into the game before Hansen.
Its not to say that Hansen was bad, he's just behind. That's not necessairly a bad thing either. This time a year ago we were talking about how far behind Trevor Knight was to Blake Bell and Kendal Thompson. Knowing that you've got more work to do can be a great motivator.