Oklahoma Booms Ohio State 31-16: 3 Things That Matter
Check out 3 Quick Game Thoughts on Oklahoma’s defining win over Ohio State
Oklahoma 31, Ohio State 16
Prediction: Ohio State 27, Oklahoma 24
Line: Ohio State-7.5 o/u: 64
1. The win Oklahoma needed to have
And Lincoln Riley was the one who got it.
He still has to win the Big 12 title, and he still has to prove he can get through a full season and prove he can lead a loaded team to something special, but Riley did it. He went on the road in his second game as a head coach, and he beat Urban Meyer. He beat Ohio State.
Lincoln Riley will have his team in the top three in all the polls – and with a few No. 1 votes sprinkled in.
This was an attitude game for the Sooners as they played with a physical pop on offense, blasted away on defense to keep the Buckeye offense from ever getting comfortable, and they proved that the they belong in the national title talk.
This was as intimidating as any environment in college football, and Oklahoma didn’t blink. It also helps a baby-young head football coach to have a veteran with the moxie and mindset of …
2. Baker Mayfield and his Heisman statement
Again, with the caveat that it’s a really, really long season and Oklahoma has a few massive games to deal with, but as the season goes on, now Baker Mayfield is deep in the hunt, if not tied in the clubhouse with Josh Rosen.
Against one of the best defensive lines in the country, Mayfield danced, dipped, dashed, and did everything needed to be the veteran presence to count on.
The guy has won two straight Big 12 titles, a Sugar Bowl, and got to a College Football Playoff. You think he’s going to be worried by playing in Columbus?
Brilliant, he completed 27-of-35 passes for 386 yards and three scores, and he didn’t even have to run much. He left that to the backs, and he kept his head down the field to make things happen.
Oklahoma scored 28 points in the second half at Ohio State. You don’t do that unless your quarterback is a true gunslinger.
3. Now what?
This is hardly a deathblow for Ohio State.
Much will be written about how the Buckeyes have struggled so much over the last few games going back to last season, but we’ve seen this movie before.
Whether it was a loss to Penn State last year, or Virginia Tech three seasons ago, Ohio State has overcome losses to still turn out fine in the CFP chase. Now there’s no margin for error – the Buckeyes have to run the table – but again, we’ve all been through this before.
However, there are problems.
The offense needs to have more of a rhythm, the line has to be far stronger for the ground game, and the passing game needs to find something that consistently works.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma has everything set up to make a run to the College Football Playoff. At least, that’s where the expectations are now.
If OU is good enough to win this game, it’s good enough to roll to 5-0 before playing Texas. It’s good enough to win at Kansas State and Oklahoma. It’s good enough to handle TCU and West Virginia at home, and then take down the Big 12 Championship.
It’s good enough to get to the CFP at 12-1. Anything less will be a massive disappointment, and Oklahoma will be more than happy to be in that position on the flight back to Norman.