Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield seemingly inched closer to the 2017 Heisman Trophy on Saturday, as he threw for three touchdowns in the Sooners' 41-3 win over the Kansas Jayhawks at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, Kansas.
Mayfield finished the game with 257 yards on 20-of-30 passing, and he was key in helping the No. 4 Sooners improve to 10-1 on the season and keep their College Football Playoff hopes high.
There was no shortage of chippy play in the contest, and it started from the opening coin toss, when Kansas' captains refused to shake Mayfield's hand, via ESPN:
Oh Kansas, what have you done. https://t.co/SAgtVnMQsx2017-11-18 20:54:36
David Ubben of The Athletic suggested it may not have been the best idea for the Jayhawks to give a fiery competitor like Mayfield added motivation:
David Ubben @davidubben
If you're trying to beat him, giving Baker Mayfield a big hug and a $50 gift card to Dave & Buster's would be far more effective than refusing to shake his hand.2017-11-18 20:40:53
That became apparent roughly midway during the first quarter, when Mayfield connected with running back Rodney Anderson for a 34-yard touchdown to put Oklahoma on top 7-0.
With that score, Mayfield stood all alone atop the Big 12 record book in terms of most consecutive games with a touchdown pass, per ESPN Stats & Info:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Baker Mayfield has thrown a TD pass in 37 straight games, breaking a tie with Graham Harrell for the Big 12 record. https://t.co/FukALnnyuc2017-11-18 21:10:01
The senior signal-caller wasn't done there in terms of making history.
With about 15 seconds remaining in the first half, Mayfield threw a 24-yard touchdown to Marquise Brown, which gave Oklahoma a 21-3 lead entering the locker room.
Per Oklahoma Football on Twitter, that made Mayfield the school's all-time leader in touchdowns accounted for:
Oklahoma Football @OU_Football
With that late TD pass to Marquise Brown, Baker Mayfield has now accounted for 127 TDs as a Sooner, breaking the school record of 126 held by Landry Jones. Mayfield TDs Passing: 1️⃣0️⃣9️⃣ Rushing: 1️⃣8️⃣ https://t.co/tB8HRz5SM12017-11-18 22:19:05
Getting the record may not have gone as smoothly as the quarterback hoped, though. At the start of Oklahoma's final drive of the half, Kansas cornerback Hasan Defense hit Mayfield late in his previously injured right shoulder.
That drew a 15-yard penalty and contributed to Oklahoma's quick march down the field for the score.
Mayfield was clearly fired up in the third quarter, and it seemed to affect his interactions with Kansas' players when he made a poor decision.
Following a three-yard touchdown pass to Mark Andrews, he made a lewd gesture toward the Kansas sideline by grabbing his crotch.
That led to a debate on the ESPN telecast about whether a lack of maturity could hurt Oklahoma in its pursuit of a national championship, but Erick Smith of USA Today didn't buy in to the discussion:
Erick Smith @erick_smith
Not buying Pasch trying to imply Mayfield can't lead his team to a national title because of antics. He is the only reason Oklahoma reached the playoff in 2015 and is in contention this year. Sigh.2017-11-18 23:18:47
ESPN's Damien Woody praised Mayfield for his show of passion:
Damien Woody @damienwoody
Imma need Baker Mayfield in a big market in the NFL. Dude has a big personality & I love it!2017-11-18 23:14:35
Mayfield ended the day with another strong statistical performance and bolstered his Heisman resume in the process.
The Austin, Texas, native now has 3,816 yards, 34 touchdowns and five interceptions in the air this season, along with 240 rushing yards and five scores on the ground.
Mayfield and the Sooners have one regular-season game remaining against the West Virginia Mountaineers before the Big 12 Championship Game on Dec. 2 at AT&T Stadium.
Barring disaster, Mayfield is the clear Heisman favorite, and while his numbers weren't eye-popping Saturday—like they were in his shootout with Oklahoma State in Week 10—he did little to disrupt his status.