The Sooners are ready to scratch another revenge game off the list with a victory. Oklahoma finished last season 8-5, and to many Sooner fans, “Big Game Bob” was losing his touch. But, the miraculous 2015 mid-season turn around proves Oklahoma fans can continue to trust Head Coach Bob Stoops.
The Texas loss hurt the Sooners a little bit less after Baylor attempted to scramble around the field with a wide receiver at quarterback in a Longhorns win last week.
Now the Sooners are the four seed, heading into the playoffs as the favorite.
Oklahoma travels to Florida for New Year’s Eve, to face Clemson for the second post-season game in a row. The Sooners are 2-2 all-time against the Tigers, but more importantly, 0-1 under Stoops, a 40-6 loss in last year’s Russell Athletic Bowl.
But back to this season. If the Sooners are as dominant as talked about, why isn’t Oklahoma holding the first spot?
Well, the Oklahoma fumble, stumble and choke against Texas was miserable.
It has been talked to death, but the Sooners loss to Texas may have been the best thing for this team in the long run. While Oklahoma looked good against Tennessee and West Virginia, the Sooners dominated all opponents following the Texas loss. Even QB Baker Mayfield was laying out big blocks in their Bedlam win against Oklahoma State.
So, can the Sooners play with the big dogs after wins over Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma State with backup quarterbacks?
It depends. Some argue that Oklahoma beat Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma State because each team was lacking its starting QB. But it’s an invalid argument.
Baylor backup QB Jarrett Stidham traveled to Manhattan and completed 70% of his passes, passing for 419 yards and accounting for 3 touchdowns against K-State. The offense was finding its rhythm with a new quarterback, and were able to perform much better than expected.
TCU’s starting QB Trevone Boykin was out against the Sooners in Norman, but then Mayfield only lasted throughout the first half. Both teams were lacking their starting QB and the Sooners managed to tip the final two-point conversion attempt, hats-off to CB Steven Parker, to finish with a win.
Oklahoma State’s dual threat QB system between QB J.W. Walsh and QB Mason Rudolph was not able to find the speed against the Sooner’s defense. Rudolph was able to play one drive. The QB did not complete any of his three passes and threw one interception.Walsh completed 25 for 42 of his passes, accounted for two touchdowns and one interception. The Cowboys were anything but impressive in Stillwater.
So Clemson QB Deshaun Watson didn’t win the Heisman. But what is all the talk about?
Watson might get more talk time on ESPN, but Mayfield is within 200 yards of Watson this season. Mayfield leads Watson by 5 TD’s and has 6 fewer INT’s.
Watson, at times, is able to put up big numbers against weaker opponents, but the Sooners’ #6 is more consistent through games and is not the only player making a splash on the field during play time.
The Tigers played one more game than Oklahoma which will give the team less down time. This could go either way. The Sooners could be the fresher team, or the length of time off could make OU rusty.
But now the Sooners have another thing motivating them: their QB was not invited to New York City for the Heisman Trophy Award Show, which could be the best thing for the Oklahoma.
Junior CB Zack Sanchez tweeted shortly after the Heisman invitations were announced that Oklahoma has another cause to win on NYE: They jus woke up an even bigger monster inside 6 …
So what is this talk of Sooner Magic heading into the playoffs?
The stars seem to be aligning for Sooner fans all across the nation.
If you believe in destiny, here are some thoughts for you to hang your hat on…
In 2000, Oklahoma started off 19 in the polls. In 2015, the Sooners started off 19 in the polls.
In 2000, the Sooners traveled to the Orange Bowl for the National Title. In 2015, Oklahoma is gearing up for a rematch against Clemson in the Orange Bowl.
In 2000, famed Oklahoma QB, who became the Sooners OC later, Josh Heupel was passed up for the Heisman trophy. In 2015, Mayfield was passed up for the weekend in NYC.
For the Sooners not seeing Mayfield in NYC could be a blessing.
In 2003, QB Jason White won the Heisman, well-deservedly, but Oklahoma went to the national title game and lost to LSU.
In 2008, QB Sam Bradford won the Heisman, and Oklahoma went on to the national title game against Florida to lose.
Sure, in reality, these things will have little, if any, bearing on the outcome of the Orange Bowl game, but it’s another reason to believe the Sooners have destiny and karma on their side. With that being said: Oklahoma 31, Clemson 28.
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