Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

WVU FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK ; Quarterback Mayfield off to Hot Start at Oklahoma

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

WVU FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK ; Quarterback Mayfield off to Hot Start at Oklahoma

Article excerpt

MORGANTOWN - Oklahoma defeated Tulsa 52-38 the last time it played, and the team's website had fun with the headline atop the story about the game: "Baker's Half Dozen Fuels Sooners' Win. Quarterback Baker Mayfield's third start was one for the record books as he established a school standard with 572 total yards and six touchdowns. He completed 32 of 38 passes for 487 yards and four touchdowns and ran 13 times for 85 yards and two scores.

"He was lighting it up, OU receiver Sterling Shepard said. "He does a great job of extending plays, and you've just got to run with him. He'll find you down the field. He's always looking to pass first, but he'll stick his toe in the ground and run, too.

The Texas Tech transfer, who had to walk on and sit out last season after the Red Raiders declined to approve his transfer, broke a fresh record. Former quarterback Landry Jones had 554 yards in a win against West Virginia in 2012. Jones had the top three spots on Oklahoma's single-game total yardage list, and former Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford was No. 4.

"It's pretty humbling, especially knowing who has come through here, Mayfield said. "It's pretty special to me. But we had so much more on the table. Who knows what we could have done if we had just executed all our stuff.

Room for improvement

The Oklahoma offense is somewhat familiar to Mayfield, who learned a similar style in his one season with Kliff Kingsbury at Texas Tech, but it's also new to Mayfield and the rest of the Sooners. Offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley is in his first season, and though the 15th-ranked Sooners have scored 41, 31 and 52 points so far and Mayfield averages 24 completions, 355 yards and three touchdowns passing, there's still plenty left to improve and achieve.

"I like the direction we've been going in, but let's face it - we've had spotty moments, too, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. "We can't forget three quarters against Tennessee.

Oklahoma had 144 yards and trailed 17-3 Tennessee at halftime of its second game and then had 13 snaps for 9 yards in the third quarter. The Sooners rallied and put up 195 yards in the fourth quarter and overtime to steal a 31-24 win.

"It has to keep improving, Stoops said. "I'm not at all upset about it. I feel it's improving in a positive direction and I'm very pleased with what Lincoln and all the offensive guys are doing, but it still has to improve and be more consistent if we're going to have a chance to have a really good year.

Riley spent the previous five seasons at East Carolina, where WVU cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell was the defensive coordinator from 2010-12.

"Lincoln did a tremendous job and set all kinds of records at East Carolina, Mitchell said. "He did things no one had done there before, and he was still a young, young coach.

Mitchell and Riley, 32, were together before that at Texas Tech, where Mitchell was the cornerbacks coach from 2006-09. …

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