Oklahoma crawled out of an early hole to earn a tough 42-35 victory over at Kansas State on Saturday.
The victory kept the Sooners’ Big 12 title hopes alive and by extension also kept them in the College Football Playoff picture. Both would have been snuffed out with a loss on Saturday.
Here are three quick things we learned from the Sooners’ gritty victory.
1. Rodney Anderson was as good as advertised:
Throughout most of his Oklahoma career, Rodney Anderson had trouble getting off the bench.
Injuries limited his playing time to 23 carries before the game Saturday.
But with Abdul Adams out of the lineup, the Sooners desperately were looking for a breakaway threat.
Anderson obliged with a career-high 147 rushing yards including a game-winning 22-yard touchdown run with 7 seconds left to pull the Sooners to the victory.
On the game-winning play, Anderson appeared to have been bottled up in the backfield. But he was able to get to the sideline, where he streaked untouched for the touchdown.
For good measure, Anderson added a 5-yard touchdown reception to showcase his value.
It had been a long wait for Anderson to get some playing time this season.
But once he started playing, he was ready for the task.
2. Baker Mayfield is making a case to be the greatest quarterback in Oklahoma history:
He’ll finish his career without most of the school’s career passing records.
But Baker Mayfield’s effort in the comeback showcased his leadership and production.
The first half ended with Mayfield yapping at coach Lincoln Riley as the Sooners trailed 21-10.
But Mayfield passed for 410 yards and 2 touchdowns and added 69 yards and 2 more scores to lead the Sooners to 32 second-half points and 390 total yards.
It’s the kind of performance that will resonate with Heisman Trophy selectors as they watch highlights from Saturday.
Some think that Mayfield needs to either win the national title or the Heisman Trophy to cement his standing in Oklahoma annals.
But Saturday showed his abilities as a leader and producer in its best light.
3. The Sooners couldn’t tackle for most of the first half:
Wizened College Football Hall of Fame coach Bill Snyder sees the game in shades of gray. But his offense had enough bells and whistles to make life miserable for the Sooners early in the game Saturday.
Kansas State ripped Oklahoma State for 256 rushing yards in the first half, averaging 10.7 yards per carry.
But the second half was a different story.
The Wildcats were limited to 31 rushing yards after the break as they couldn’t get anything going. Oklahoma’s defensive turnaround was the key to the comeback.