Baker Mayfield shoulders blame for Sooners' loss: 'That's all on me'

 

NORMAN, Okla. — When it comes to the negative, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops prefers to avoid singling out his players.

But during his weekly Monday news conference, Stoops couldn’t help but reference one player on the heels of the Sooners’ 33-23 Week 1 loss to the Houston Cougars.

Stoops, however, was a few minutes too late. That player had already singled himself out.

“That’s all on me,” quarterback Baker Mayfield said of the offense’s second-half problems. “[The receivers] got open. That’s all on me as the leader of the team and the captain. It’s my job to deliver the ball. They got open for me. They did their part.

“Now, it’s my responsibility to just deliver it to them.”

Oklahoma’s offense came out humming in the opening minutes of the game, scoring two touchdowns and a field goal through its first four drives. Mayfield’s decisiveness was a big reason, as he quickly delivered passes to the Sooners’ top playmakers — notably Joe Mixon.

“Just comparing the first and second half, the first half I got the ball out of my hands quick, eliminated the best part of Houston’s defense, which we had game-planned,” Mayfield said. “Then second half, obviously things changed. I didn’t get the ball out as quick as I wanted.”

In that second half, Oklahoma’s offense dissembled into Mayfield scrambling around haplessly in the backfield trying to make a big play that wasn’t there. As a result, the Sooners didn’t score until a meaningless touchdown in the final two minutes when the outcome had already been decided.

“I only have one quarterback. I don’t like to throw players [under the bus] or name names, but at times, Baker held on [to the ball] and instead of taking what was open and what was there in his first read, was waiting for something different,” Stoops said. “Something that takes a little longer to progress, and that’s not how the offense operates. We had guys in certain spot that would have been easier throws and would’ve helped us.”

Mayfield’s go-for-broke, second-half style resulted in several ugly numbers. He ended up with more rushing attempts (13) than Mixon and Samaje Perine combined (12), to go along with a negative rushing total. After completing all nine of his passing attempts in the first half, Mayfield had nine incompletions in the second. He also took five sacks that, as Stoops pointed out, were more on him than the receivers not getting open or the offensive line protecting.

 

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