Pretty much everything about Baker Mayfield is unlikely.
Diehard Oklahoma Sooners fan – despite growing up in Austin, Texas. Walk-on at Texas Tech. Starting quarterback under Bob Stoops.
It doesn’t seem real.
But first things first: a Sooners fan from Austin?
“(It’s) weird to be an Oklahoma Sooners fan (there),” Mayfield acknowledged on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show, “but when I was growing up, my dad had a lot of coaching connections that used to be here in the Switzer era. They had tickets, so I used to come up to the games and get on the sidelines back when there was great players here. So I just kind of grew up into it.”
A standout at Lake Travis High School, Mayfield walked on at Texas Tech and beat out three quarterbacks for the starting job.
That simply doesn’t happen in Power 5 conferences.
But it happened to Mayfield.
He transferred to Oklahoma in 2014, sat out a year, competed for the starting job and won it. Offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley gave Mayfield the good news.
“It was a pretty neat experience being able to make my dream come true at a school that I love,” Mayfield said. “I called (my dad right away). He knew that I had that meeting that day. Obviously he knew what was coming, so he congratulated me and said he was so happy for me.”
So is the rest of Sooner Nation, especially since Mayfield led No. 18 Oklahoma (2-0) to a 31-24 double overtime win at Tennessee this past Saturday – a game in which the Sooners trailed 17-3 at halftime.
Myafield said the Sooners “kept shooting ourselves in the foot” early in the game but stayed the course. They converted seven of their final eight third downs.
“That’s when we started rolling,” said Mayfield, who finished 19-of-39 for 187 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. “That’s when energy on the sidelines started getting up. The positivity really got up. Once they realized we could keep moving the ball, the defense kept playing hard. They only allowed something like 70 yards in the second half, so they were playing out of their minds and we had to step it up too. So once we started converting, we got it rolling.”
Tennessee scored first in overtime, meaning Oklahoma needed a touchdown and extra point just to tie the game.
“That’s a situation you dream of as a kid,” Mayfield said. “You want the ball to be in your hands. You want it to be in your court. It was all on us. I love the pressure. I thrive on it.”
Mayfield tied the game on a 1-yard touchdown run and threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard to win it.
Mayfield is now 2-0 as a starter at the school he grew up idolizing.
“It’s a dream come true,” he said. “That first home game (against Akron), being here at our stadium and running out of our tunnel knowing that I was going to play – it’s a humbling feeling, especially because of the tradition here. So it’s a humbling feeling being able to know I’m playing here now after everything that’s happened. But then I got to realize I got to go to work and I got to play football.”