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Baker Mayfield & The Oklahoma Offense Find A Way In The Fourth Quarter

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Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Plagued by penalties and dropped passes, the Oklahoma Sooners failed to move the ball against the Tennessee Volunteers defense in Knoxville. Swallowing runners at the line of scrimmage while sniffing out the screen, Butch Jones refused to accept numerous yellow flags as OU failed to cross into opponent territory. Arrogance ran rampant along the home sideline as Joshua Dobbs as the Vols built a 17-point lead in the first eighteen minutes of game play.

Fortunately for the Sooners, a game lasts sixty minutes as this quickly became a tale of two halves. Despite two interceptions coupled with multiple opportunities to concede the battle, Baker Mayfield remained energetic on the sideline and determined on the field. Showing no sign of quit, Mayfield knew a single play possessed the potential to alter the course of the action.

"I knew how close we were," Mayfield said. "That's the thing, you can't get negative about it. And it turned out well for us."

Cracking the seal on the endzone with 8:20 left in regulation, Samaje Perine recorded his first career touchdown reception on a two yard toss. The score singlehandedly gave way to a drastic momentum swing as Oklahoma found themselves with the ball after the defense forced a three and out. This time though, the Sooners clung to a bit of confidence.

Hoping to sustain what could be the final drive of the night, Mayfield scrambled after Shy Tuttle flushed the quarterback from the pocket. Moving briskly toward the sideline, Mayfield slipped through the grips of a defender letting the ball fly toward Sterling Shepard on third down. Securing the 13-yard catch, Shepard moved the chains while apparently catching lightning in a bottle that sparked OU and the fans in attendance.

Moments later on third and goal, Shepard danced down the line while leaping over a would be tackler to tie up the ball game. The comeback was all but finished as Tennessee settled for overtime in front of a home crowd. Matching one another with a touchdown run in the first overtime, Shepard once again found his number being called. With the challenge of playing on the road in overtime, #3 delivered with an 18-yard reception to pushing OU over the hurdle and to victory.

Bob Stoops now owns a 25-7 record over current SEC teams...just saying.

Position Grades

Offensive Line - Orlando Brown remains a talented player. However, he'll need to limit false start penalties in the future. Butch Jones declined penalty after penalty and thankfully so as the number would have skyrocketed from the current nine number. Pass protection was touted after facing Akron. But, it broke down often against Tenn as Baker scrambled time and time again. However, I'd say the offensive line grew up a little in Tennessee. Overall Grade: C

Running Backs - Oklahoma threw out a new wrinkle with Joe Mixon taking snaps in the wildcat formation while lined up next to Samaje Perine. Collectively the back ran for 116 yards in week two but failed to make a significant impact in the passing game thanks to a penalty. In my opinion, the group proved effective but left room for improvement. Overall Grade: B-

Quarterbacks - Unable to find down field receivers, the approach completely changed moving into the final quarter of play. The move allowed Mayfield to complete 78.6% of his passes during the final two drives as well as in overtime. Although no one can erase two interceptions, Mayfield is simply a gamer who threw for three scores and ran for another to redeem himself. Overall Grade: B

Receivers/Tight Ends - A case of the dropsies plagues this group early as the Volunteers left no room for receivers. Mark Andrews failed to pick up blocking assignments which is likely why we saw Connor Knight frequently. However, in clutch situations down the stretch, the receivers almost erased the terrible start. Sterling Shepard and the crew are a major reason why OU converted 7-of-8 third downs in the fourth quarter to tie up the ball game. Overall Grade: B-