March 21, 2018

Baker Mayfield's 'wild ride' with OU ends in CFP semifinal

12 January 2018, 08:25 | Cesar Cruz

Via @wsbtv

Via @wsbtv

"Ah, you know, he should've been, man". When the dust settled, Georgia emerged from Pasadena with a 54-48 win, with the offense shattering expectations and the defense doing just enough to win. Seibert responded with a 33-yard field goal for Oklahoma. He said the defense "stunk it up and played really bad". Michel ripped off a 75-yarder in the second quarter, and Chubb scored from 50 yards on Georgia's first play of the second half.

Yet Coach Lincoln Riley's play-calling didn't give Mayfield every chance to shine, which the coach acknowledged afterward.

Michel had 181 yards and three touchdowns rushing and caught four passes for 41 yards and a score as the Bulldogs (13-1) posted the largest comeback in Rose Bowl history in what was also the highest-scoring Rose Bowl.

Woof. How did this happen after putting up 31 first half points?

The Bulldogs made some effective defensive tweaks at halftime, which led to Mayfield's dusting himself off frequently after getting sacked.

The problem is that everyone except Riley immediately knew these conservative plays weren't the best in real-time.

But Michel kept chopping, as they say, and he kept talking and encouraging his teammates. For the first time in the game, Georgia led the Sooners 38-31. Probably the same people, who after the Big 12 championship game, when we hold down a good TCU offense and beat them twice in a row and win that, then everybody is singing your praises.

"He can throw the ball in locations on the run that you don't see too many guys do", Smith said.

Oklahoma kept sputtering until Mayfield clicked back into high gear on an 88-yard drive during which he hit Lamb for a 36-yard gain, ran for 22 yards and threaded in an 11-yard touchdown pass to Dimitri Flowers near the back of the end zone in a span of four plays.

The Sooners took one more lead in regulation on a 46-yard fumble return by Steven Parker with just under 7 minutes remaining, but Chubb scored on a direct snap from 2 yards out with 55 seconds left to force overtime.

Via @Steve_OS
Via @Steve_OS

Oklahoma then got the ball first, and Lorenzo Carter blocked Seiberts second field-goal attempt to set up Michels touchdown, when he slipped a tackle and had a clear path to the end zone.

After going down 31-14 late in the second quarter against OU, the Dawgs got back into it riding the legs of Sony Michel and Nick Chubb and the arm of true freshman quarterback Jake Fromm.

For the Sooners, it was a wrenching end to a remarkable season.

"I'm excited about this next game, regardless of who it would have been", Brown said. "He reminds me of Brett Favre, because he makes all the throws, he's mobile and he can improvise on the run".

Baker Mayfield said not ending his Oklahoma career with a national championship will be "something that will stick for a long time". An apparent interception in overtime was negated by penalty.

"If there was a Baker Mayfield Mini-Me, that's Stetson", Georgia safety J.R. Reed said. "It's been a wild ride".

"It was close", he said. "That lit a fire on our sideline, we had the energy back, and we were back in the game".

He opted for the safer choice, and moments later he and his team had been defeated.

Bellamy shouted the phrase toward Mayfield several times after the game as the quarterback shook hands with Georgia players.

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