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Oklahoma Sooners Football: Oklahoma’s Top 10 Plays of the 2017 Season

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From Baker Mayfield’s improvisation in Columbus to his TD catch in Pasadena, there were plenty of big moments in 2017

Oklahoma v Texas Photo by Richard W. Rodriguez/Getty Images

The 2017 season for the Oklahoma Sooners will certainly go down as one to remember. Although the final result wasn’t what the team or the fans would have wanted, there were still plenty of highlights that will be remembered for years to come. With so many playmakers, it would be impossible to select the best plays of the season. There were simply too many fantastic moments to narrow down into any sort of list.

Luckily for you, we here at Crimson & Cream Machine laugh in the face of impossibility. So without further ado, I present to you: the Oklahoma Sooners’ top 10 plays of the 2017 season. As is always the case with these lists, we want you to let us know if you think we’ve left anything out!

10. Parnell Motley takes it the distance against Tulane

Oklahoma was off to a sluggish start in the week following the monster showdown in Columbus. Tulane primarily runs a triple option on offense, which typically gives opponents issues early on with such little time to prepare. With the Green Wave driving once again, somebody on the Sooner defense needed to make a play. Parnell Motley apparently had enough of the shenanigans, and as soon as he saw his opportunity, he made the most of it with this 77-yard pick-six! (link)

9. Baker Mayfield tricks everybody at the Rose Bowl

In the first half of the Rose Bowl Game, the Oklahoma Sooners could do no wrong on offense. Just about everything was working, so why not dive deep into the playbook and give the Bulldogs something they hadn’t seen on game film? CeeDee Lamb put just enough height and touch on the ball for an easy completion to the Heisman Trophy winner, who caught the entire Georgia defense sleeping. Out of all the touchdowns Baker Mayfield has accounted for in his career, this one will go down as one of the most creative. (link)

8. Marquise Brown turns on the jets in Stillwater

Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown was already starting to make a name for himself coming into Bedlam, and it was in this game where Brown displayed his talents with the entire nation watching. Brown turned a normal crossing route into an electrifying back-breaker for the Cowboys’ defense. His elite speed is glaringly obvious. Not even the defender who had an angle on him could recover in time (who finally fell foolishly on his face), and within seconds Hollywood strolled into the end zone for an 84-yard TD. (link)

7. Abdul Adams is still running in Waco

It goes without saying that Abdul Adams’ 99-yard touchdown is the longest play from scrimmage in Oklahoma history. It’s also true that no other player in the history of college football has ever recorded more yards in a single play from scrimmage than Abdul Adams did on this play against Baylor. I’m talking maximum yardage, folks. With the excellent blocking up front, once Adams reached the second level of the defense and put a move on the safety, he was off to the races. (link)

6. Will Johnson snatches momentum in Stillwater

Bedlam in 2017 was basically one big highlight reel for both teams. There weren’t a ton of defensive plays made on either side, but Will Johnson’s end zone interception at the end of the 3rd quarter was as big as any score. The Cowboys were driving the ball at will, looking to take the lead, and running back Justice Hill was gashing the Sooners on the ground. For some reason, Oklahoma State decided to throw the ball on 1st and goal, and that decision came back to bite the Pokes in a big way. (link)

5. Trey Sermon will not be denied against the Buckeyes

In just his second college game ever, true freshman Trey Sermon put on a show in the 4th quarter of the colossal matchup against Ohio State. Baker Mayfield worked a little of his magic in the pocket, buying time before finding Sermon who had leaked out of the backfield. The Buckeyes’ tenacious defense closed in on Sermon fast, but two defenders weren’t going to be enough to stop the preacher from finding the end zone. The touchdown put the Sooners ahead by two scores, which proved to be an insurmountable margin for the Buckeyes to overcome. (link)

4. Caleb Kelly rumbles towards another Big 12 Championship

On TCU’s opening offensive play of the game, Amani Bledsoe went beast mode by not only tackling running back Kyle Hicks for a loss, but also punching the ball loose. Or was it Kenneth Murray? Go back and watch it in slo-mo. There’s been some debate there. Anyway, an opportunistic Caleb Kelly was in the right place at the right time, as he picked the ball up from the turf and ran to pay dirt. TCU QB Kenny Hill tried everything he could to stop Kelly from scoring, but his feeble attempt was futile. The score set the tone for the Big 12 Championship game and Oklahoma never looked back. (link)

3. Steven Parker scoops and scores in Pasadena

I could make the argument that this was the top play of the year, but admittedly the outcome of the game kept me from ranking it No. 1. Nevertheless, it was a sensational play that couldn’t have been scripted any better. When the Sooners’ defense was putting up little resistance against anything, and a play was desperately needed, Caleb Kelly lowered his shoulder into Sony Michel, jarring the ball loose. The fumbled ball bounced right up into Steven Parker’s grasp, when he then put the team on his back and gave the Sooners the lead. While the play won’t be associated with fond memories for Sooner fans, it cannot be denied that Parker’s 46-yard scoop ‘n score was nothing short of spectacular. (link)

2. Mark Andrews takes it to the Red River house

It doesn’t get much bigger than this. It was past the midway point of the 4th quarter, and Oklahoma had just blown a 20-point lead against arch-rival Texas. The thing is, none of that mattered to Baker Mayfield, who found a wide open Mark Andrews trotting down the sideline. Mayfield hit Andrews in stride, and Andrews practically walked into the end zone as thousands of dejected faces clad in burnt orange could only look on and wonder ‘What in tarnation?’ (link)

1. Rodney Anderson’s winner in Manhattan

Rodney Anderson became a household name after this one. After missing his first two seasons with injuries, Anderson had earn his playing time in a loaded backfield before finally seizing the top spot both in the rotation and on this list. The Sooners battled all the way back from a 21-7 deficit and found themselves in position for a last second field goal. Plot twist: Rodney Anderson was playing for six. The play started out disastrously as Anderson lost ground fast. However, with a couple key edge-setting blocks from receivers Marquise Brown and CeeDee Lamb, Anderson raced down the sideline for the go-ahead touchdown. With under 10 seconds left in the game, K-State was all but vanquished, and the Sooners left the Little Apple victorious. (link)

Now, keep in mind that the order of this list is entirely subjective and debatable, and discussion over which plays should have been included, excluded is certainly encouraged. Also, I realize that there are several plays that did not make this list that are certainly worthy of recognition. Those are the plays I want to honorably mention, so in no particular order:

  • Baker Mayfield’s 54-yard TD pass to Jeff Badet against Texas
  • Caleb Kelly’s leaping INT on 4th down against Texas Tech
  • Kenneth Mann’s sack/forced fumble leading to Ogbonnia Okoronkwo’s fumble recovery against Oklahoma State
  • Trey Sermon’s 53-yard rushing TD to close out Bedlam
  • Baker Mayfield’s pinpoint accurate pass to Grant Calcaterra for a sensational TD grab
  • Du’Vonta Lampkin’s bull rush sack against TCU in Norman
  • Kyler Murray’s long run vs. West Virginia

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