No. 5 Oklahoma entered the 2017 season having to replace the most offensive skill position talent of anyone in college football.
That replacement process is going pretty well.
The Sooners dominated No. 2 Ohio State in Columbus 31-16 to establish themselves as one of the top teams in college football.
Oklahoma lost Heisman finalist and Biletnikoff-winning wide receiver Dede Westbrook and running backs Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine from one of the most explosive offenses in college football in 2016. But perhaps the most important player from the offense — quarterback Baker Mayfield — returned for his senior season in 2017. And boy, did Mayfield shine Saturday night.
Mayfield finished 26-34 for 387 yards passing and three touchdowns, torching a talented but inexperienced Ohio State secondary. His leading receiver was fullback Dimitri Flowers, a senior who had 315 combined rushing and receiving yards in 2016. OU’s second-leading receiver was Jeff Badet, a graduate transfer from Kentucky.
And the Sooners’ leading rusher? A freshman by the name of Trey Sermon, who also caught a touchdown pass.
Mayfield was so excited after the game that he planted an Oklahoma flag at midfield.
Meanwhile, the passing offense that was supposed to be better in 2017 for Ohio State looked a lot like it did in 2016. J.T. Barrett’s passing line was a pedestrian 19-35 for 181 yards. While an Oklahoma defense that struggled mightily at times wasn’t great against OSU’s running attack, the lack of a downfield threat rendered Ohio State helpless to respond to Oklahoma’s second-half barrage.
After Ohio State took a 10-3 lead early in the third quarter, the Sooners ripped off four touchdowns in five possessions to jump out to a 31-13 lead.
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