Some may scoff at Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley’s punishment for Baker Mayfield *only* being not starting and not being a captain on Saturday, but it was clear Monday night those things mean a lot to Mayfield.
The Sooners’ senior quarterback, two days after his sideline display at Kansas, addressed reporters about it all and was very emotional. It was clear that not being a captain for his final home game at Oklahoma, which also happens to be senior day at Memorial Stadium, is really tough for him.
But he understands why Riley made the decision and said he put his coach in a “terrible spot.”
“Playing at OU is something I always dreamed of,” Mayfield said. “Not starting… it is what it is, but not being a team captain is so much more. It’s hard because it’s my last one here ever. It means a lot more. It’s going to be tough. (Senior Day) even without all of this was going to be emotional one. It’s going to be hard.”
Before the Kansas game, the Jayhawks’ defensive captains snubbed Mayfield for a handshake after the coin toss, a move that undeniably fired Mayfield up. From there, he and the Sooners had no issue with the one-win Jayhawks, and after a third quarter touchdown, Mayfield made a lewd gesture toward the Kansas sideline while yelling obscenities. The whole thing was captured by the ESPN broadcast and set off somewhat of a firestorm in the days since.
On Monday night, Mayfield acknowledged he let a lot of people down, including those who look up to him as a role model.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re the starting quarterback. If you don’t act the right way, Coach Riley is going to discipline you. And that’s the way it needs to be,” Mayfield said.
Mayfield apologized after the game but Riley went ahead Monday and announced that Mayfield would not start or be a captain for the Sooners against West Virginia in the regular season finale. Sophomore Kyler Murray will get the start at quarterback.
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) November 20, 2017
It’s a game the fourth-ranked Sooners need to win to stay in the College Football Playoff picture. After the WVU game, OU can win its third straight conference championship when it plays in the Big 12 title game, likely against TCU.
– – – – – – –