Hello once again, everybody, and welcome back to another edition of our 2019 Countdown to Kickoff series! Now that there are 20 days remaining until the Oklahoma Sooners open their upcoming college football season, I want to revisit the best games from OU’s active streak of 20 consecutive true road wins.
Honorable mention (chronological order)
- 2015, at Baylor — For most of the Big 12 era, Baylor has been next to awful as a football program, but for a solid two-to-three year stretch under Art Briles, the Bears were the cream of the conference crop. Then Lincoln Riley and Baker Mayfield transformed OU’s offense, waltzed into Waco and took back the torch by force in an epic 44-34 duel.
- 2015, at Oklahoma State — The first of OU’s now four-consecutive Big 12 titles was won following a dominating 58-23 performance in Stillwater, and while this Bedlam victory was more of a Bedlam beatdown, it vaulted Oklahoma into its first College Football Playoff.
- 2016, at TCU — After a 1-2 start to the season, the Baker Mayfield-to-Dede Westbrook Heisman-caliber connection came to life in Fort Worth, where the Sooners held on to defeat the Horned Frogs, 52-46.
- 2016, at West Virginia — In this region, Oklahoma doesn’t normally have that many chances to play in the snow during the season, but on this flurry-filled night in Morgantown, the Sooners ran all over the Mountaineers, 56-28.
- 2017, at Oklahoma State — When Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph went head-to-head for the final time, the matchup lived up to everything fans on both sides of the state wanted and then some. Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown also went completely bonkers, and Trey Sermon sealed the deal with a back-breaking TD run for the 62-52 final.
The Top Five
5. at Texas Tech, 2016
Oklahoma and Texas Tech. Baker Mayfield and Pat Mahomes. Offense and
defense even more offense. Yeah, that pretty much sums up this insane shootout.
Depending on who you are, this was either your dream or your nightmare scenario for a football game. Strangely enough, each team totaled exactly 854 yards, although it was a more balanced effort on the part of Oklahoma (545 passing, 309 rushing) compared to Texas Tech (734 passing, 120 rushing). Still, defense was a complete and total afterthought in this one, and Mayfield and Mahomes were more than up for the challenge.
RB Joe Mixon and WR Dede Westbrook also had monster days, statistically speaking, and the Sooners’ defense actually forced two Red Raiders turnovers despite the results. As it turned out, the team with the ball last would prevail, and that’s exactly what Oklahoma did. 66-59, Boomer.
4. at Kansas State, 2017
It was reported following the conclusion of this mayhem-filled Manhattan visit that Baker Mayfield was unable to practice the entire week prior because of the physical punishment he sustained against Texas. After falling behind the Wildcats 21-7 in the second quarter, the Sooners needed a spark in the worst way. Thankfully, two stars came into their own on the same night.
Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown took the next step as a playmaker and completely changed the dynamic of Oklahoma’s offense. Mayfield found him on a number of plays designed by Lincoln Riley for big gains. Towards the end of the fourth, Oklahoma had the possession and found itself tied with the upset-minded Kansas State.
The other Sooner star that emerged on this night was Rodney Anderson. After running all over K-State, he took matters into his own hands with seconds remaining in regulation to put the game away, 42-35. His near walk-off touchdown run has gone down in OU lore as one of the greatest finishes in modern program history.
3. at West Virginia, 2018
With a berth in the Big 12 Championship Game on the line for both teams, Oklahoma squared off with West Virginia on Black Friday last season. Kyler Murray’s Heisman campaign was churning with full ferocity, and the buzz around his team was playoffs.
Of course, nothing ever comes that easy in Morgantown at night, and the 2018 Mountaineers were indeed a formidable opponent with Will Grier and the plethora of weapons around him in Dana Holgorsen’s offense. Once again, a shootout was in the making ala Lubbock in 2016.
Speaking of that gunslinger duel between Mayfield and Mahomes, this contest also featured Oklahoma’s defense securing a couple takeaways, although this time both turnovers led directly to scoop-n-scores. Unfortunately for the Sooners, those folks from the country roads are relentless, causing OU to have to hold on until the very end, 59-56.
2. at Ohio State, 2017
One image comes to mind whenever you bring up Oklahoma and Ohio State to OU fans. Planting the flag. Thanks to Baker Mayfield, that moment will live on for generations to come.
After being thoroughly handled in Norman the year prior, Oklahoma had revenge on its collective mind going into Columbus. Mayfield’s Heisman campaign was also picking up some serious steam, and a win over the Buckeyes would surely make him the player to beat.
At the half, the major non-conference bout was tied at 3 points apiece, but OU’s offense squandered away a couple crucial opportunities. Then OSU scored the game’s first TD in the third quarter. Next, it was nothing but Mayfield.
From that point on, Oklahoma went on a 28 to 10 run before Ohio State scored a meaningless field goal to make the final margin 31-16. For anybody who watched the game, it wasn’t that close, and if it wasn’t for the Sooners’ self-inflicted mistakes in the first half, it would have been much more dominant. So while the outcome itself wasn’t that dicey, what the win meant for the program in year one of the Lincoln Riley head coaching era was highly significant. Then Mayfield plants the flag, and the rest is history.
1. at Tennessee, 2015
Out of all the thrilling road games the Sooners have won during this 20-game winning streak, none have put OU fans on more of an emotional rollercoaster than the 2015 trip to Knoxville. In the year prior, Oklahoma handled Tennessee with relative ease in Norman, but over on Rocky Top, the Vols had no intentions of going out like chumps.
In Baker Mayfield’s second game as OU’s starter, he found his team down 17-3 in the fourth quarter. Nothing was going right for the Sooners except for Eric Striker and the Oklahoma defense keeping hope alive. Then Mayfield found a dash of Sooner magic, and the comeback was on.
With the game tied at 17 to end regulation, all momentum and positive energy was in favor of Oklahoma. Then the Volunteers reclaimed the lead with an overtime-opening touchdown run. Mayfield answered with one of his own, effectively quieting the raucous enemy crowd at Neyland Stadium.
Next was double OT. This time, OU struck first with an amazing TD reception and leap from Sterling Shepard. When it was time for Joshua Dobbs and the Tennessee offense to answer, CB Zack Sanchez stepped up and ended the game with a walk-off interception. Oklahoma would win, 31-24.
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