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Oklahoma Sooners Football: Recap - Oklahoma: 66, Texas Tech: 59

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The Sooners outlast the Red Raiders in a game for the record books

Oklahoma v Texas Tech Photo by John Weast/Getty Images

Records fell as Baker Mayfield made his return to Lubbock to square off against his former team in a game that will be remembered for its offensive firepower. The teams would combine for the most yards in NCAA Division I history: 1,708. A metaphor for the kind of even, back and forth game it would become, each team finished with exactly 854 yards of total offense. The Sooners ended up with the victory in the end, outlasting Texas Tech by a score of 66-59. Here's how it happened.

From the first drive of the game, Oklahoma set the tone for what would be a wild shootout, driving 75 yards in only five plays, ending with a 56-yard pass from Mayfield to Joe Mixon, beginning an incredible evening for each of them. Austin Seibert missed the PAT, but the Sooners grabbed the first valuable points.

Oklahoma managed to force a turnover on Texas Tech's first drive, which was fortunate for OU because Tech appeared to be on their way to earning some points of their own. Instead, Oklahoma turned their extra opportunity into a three-play, 62 yard drive, this one capped by a 49-yard touchdown pass from Mayfield to Dede Westbrook. Texas Tech would score a touchdown on its next drive, and from there began to slowly chipping away at the Sooners' lead before actually taking a 24-23 lead with only 37 seconds remaining in the first half. At this point, it appeared that Seibert's extra-point mistake would haunt the Sooners heading into halftime. That is, until Oklahoma flew 75 yards in two plays, taking only twenty seconds off the clock to regain the lead 30-24.

The Sooners would take that lead into halftime, just barely holding the advantage as the wheels on the defenses were about to fall off. To start the third quarter, OU held Texas Tech to a three-and-out and forced a punt. It would be the game's final punt. Between the two teams, the next ten drives would end in touchdowns. The final result was a dizzying blur of points, records, and missed tackles.

Perhaps the most disappointing statistic of the day for Oklahoma fans may have been their inability to stop the Red Raiders when Tech's back was against the wall; Oklahoma forced Texas Tech into third-and-seven (or longer) on twelve different occasions, and the Red Raiders converted every single one into a first down. Patrick Mahomes, II seemed to have an answer for every trick Oklahoma could pull out of its sleeve in the second half.

Mahomes and his crew of wide opened receivers carried the day for the Red Raiders offense, which put up 59 points despite only 35 yards not generated, at least in part, by Mahomes himself. In fact, Mahomes performance was record-breaking (literally): the quarterback set the NCAA all-time record for total yards (819), and tied the NCAA record for passing yards (734).

Those are the kind of numbers that may have gotten every coach on the staff fired before the trip back to Norman, had Oklahoma's offense not been--somehow--even better. Mayfield fought for revenge against his former team in front of a hostile crowd (playing through loud chants of "F*** you Baker"), and he won the battle by completing 27/36 passes for 545 yards and setting an Oklahoma record for most passing touchdowns in a single game (7). While he may have thrown for fewer yards than Mahomes, his yards-per-attempt nearly doubled those of Mahomes, and Mayfield also managed to avoid turnovers, while Mahomes threw an interception in the first half to Steven Parker.

Mayfield wasn't the only one to finish the day with prolific numbers on the offensive end for Oklahoma. Dede Westbrook continued his tour-of-dominance through the Big 12 with nine catches for 202 yards and two touchdowns. Mixon, playing without his normal comrade, Samaje Perine, was perhaps the most impressive. Mixon rushed for 263 yards and had 114 yards receiving. He added five total touchdowns to his yardage collection, ending with one of the most dominant games by a Sooner running back in recent memory. Together, the trio of Mayfield, Westbrook, and Mixon became the first teammates to feature a 500-yard passer, 200-yard receiver, and 200-yard rusher in the same game.

The offensive explosion couldn't have come at a better time for the OU defense, who seemed to struggle mightily to slow down a one-dimensional offense for an entire half of football. In the end, the difference in the game may have been a recovered onside kick by Jarvis Baxter with 1:38 remaining. Had Texas Tech recovered the onside kick and gone down to score the tying touchdown, it's possible that the teams would still be playing even now. As it stands, though, Oklahoma managed to do just enough to outlast the Red Raiders and advance to 4-0 in conference play.