I suppose you could say Lincoln Riley’s first road game as a head coach went alright. OU avenged last season’s loss in Norman by waltzing into Columbus and dominating Ohio State 31-16. The feeling in the Sooners’ locker room was much different from a year ago when the Buckeyes thrashed OU 45-24 in Norman. If you’re wondering if Baker Mayfield has forgotten about what happened last year, I can assure you that he has not.
BAKER MAYFIELD WITH THE WILD DISRESPECT pic.twitter.com/GQkli849JH— Barstool Sports (@barstooltweetss) September 10, 2017
The game got off to a painfully slow start as the teams went into the locker room tied 3-3 at halftime. Mayfield flipped a switch in the second half and was virtually unstoppable down the stretch. Mayfield finished the game 27/35 for 386 yards and three touchdowns. His favorite target was senior fullback Dimitri Flowers who hauled in 7 catches for 98 yards including a 36-yard touchdown.
It was tied at halftime.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 10, 2017
Then Baker Mayfield happened. pic.twitter.com/KGAYe1jda7
There had been a lot of questions about OU’s defense coming into the game, but that will certainly not be the case after this game. The Sooners held Ohio State to just 350 total yards and wrecked havoc on JT Barrett all night long. Linebackers Emmanuel Beal and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo practically lived in the Ohio State backfield the entire game. The two combined for 15 tackles including two sacks and four tackles for loss. Sophomore cornerback Parnell Motley had an outstanding game that featured a fourth quarter interception at the Ohio State 27-yard-line. Motley’s pick set up a Jordan Smallwood touchdown run that pushed the lead to 31-13 and ultimately put the game away for the Sooners.
OU closed the game on a 21-3 scoring run after being down 13-10 late in the third quarter. This was only the second home loss for Urban Meyer his in six years at Ohio State. OU’s 15-point margin of victory was the largest by a road team at Ohio State since November 1999 when Illinois beat the Buckeyes 46-20.
Baker Mayfield wasn’t the only one who came into this game with a chip on his shoulder. The normally soft-spoken Lincoln Riley had a message for all of the people who doubted his team.
The “bunch of pretenders” line was a jab at ESPN’s Lee Corso who used those words to describe the Sooners two weeks ago. Riley’s predecessor was also in Columbus Saturday night and boy was he ever excited for his guys.
Bob Stoops is forever a Sooner. pic.twitter.com/cAMITgZFcm— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 10, 2017
No, YOU’RE crying.
The victory over Ohio State puts Oklahoma in the driver’s seat to secure a playoff birth. It also extends OU’s win-streak to 12, the longest active streak in FBS and the Sooners’ longest since 2004. OU plays Tulane in Norman next weekend before traveling to Waco to take on Baylor in the Big 12 opener the following week. At this point, I’m honestly not sure which game will be more difficult.