Baker Mayfield's legend grows with swaggering win over Ohio State

Mayfield on pinning the flag: Nobody picked us on GameDay (0:32)

Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield shares why he planted the Sooners flag on the Buckeyes' midfield after defeating Ohio State. (0:32)

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- After shaking hands and giving interviews at midfield, Baker Mayfield belted out, "My turn now," before sprinting to the corner of "The Shoe," where hundreds of jubilant Oklahoma fans awaited.

Seconds later, he returned to midfield.

Mayfield found the Sooners' oversized crimson flag, unraveled it and began waving it around. Then, he took off again.

Ultimately, Mayfield ended right where he started, planting the Oklahoma flag through the heart of Ohio State's logo around a throng of Sooners teammates.

"It was a last-minute decision," Mayfield said. "I was planning on something.

"But I didn't know what."

In the wake of a 31-16 stomping of the Buckeyes on their home field, Mayfield might not have planned it, but the flag-planting moment had been building from Ohio State's 21-point win over the Sooners in Norman last year.

"It was embarrassing for them to sing their fight song on our field," Mayfield said. "They're probably feeling the same way right now."

Mayfield is the biggest reason for how the Buckeyes are probably feeling.

With his go-to guy Mark Andrews injured and fullback Dimitri Flowers having to double as Oklahoma's leading receiver Saturday night, Mayfield propelled his Sooners to perhaps the most impressive win thus far of the college football season.

On every one of Oklahoma's first five possessions, Mayfield drove the Sooners into Ohio State territory. But with new running backs and receivers, the Sooners sputtered each time. Abdul Adams fumbled away the second possession to Ohio State. Jeff Badet fumbled away the third. Then, after Andrews left with a knee injury, Mayfield laced a strike to his backup, true freshman Grant Calcaterra, who dropped what would've been an easy touchdown. Instead, the Sooners had to settle for a field goal, which sailed wide.

"We should have won by a lot more, talking about the first half," said Mayfield, who has now won 10 true road games in a row as Oklahoma's starting quarterback. "We played well."

Even so, Ohio State was even 3-3 with the Sooners at halftime. After the Buckeyes scored on their first two possessions of the second half, it seemed as if they were about to pull away.

But they wouldn't be able to pull away from Mayfield.

In a drive that defined the game, and which could define Oklahoma's season, Mayfield came right back, beginning at his own 8-yard line.

He scrambled around before finding true freshman CeeDee Lamb for a 17-yard first down. Then he lofted a dime over the outstretched fingers of Ohio State defensive back Kendall Sheffield and into the arms of little-used Mykel Jones for a 42-yard gain. On the next play, Mayfield delivered a strike to walk-on Lee Morris for an 18-yard touchdown that flipped the game for good. After the throw, Mayfield flexed his arms as he strutted to the sidelines before high-fiving coach Lincoln Riley, who, in a Mayfield moment, turned to the crowd behind him and threw his hands in the air.

Beat the second-ranked team in the nation? Fly your flag on their field? It was a good night for Oklahoma football in their 31-16 win over Ohio State in Columbus.

Rachel Marcus, ESPN Editor434d ago

"Baker deserves a ton of credit," Riley said. "He's a great player. He played extremely, extremely well, especially against a defense as good as theirs.

"But he's not doing it with a bunch of Rudys [out there.] We've got other good players."

Yet those other players elevated their performances because of the tone Mayfield set. And that didn't stop with the offense, either.

"We all feed off him," said Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops. "Coaches, players. He's an unbelievable leader, an incredible player. I've never seen another guy like him.

"I wouldn't trade him for another guy in America."

And as Mayfield caught fire, Oklahoma's defense only grew more tenacious.

To begin the fourth quarter, Mayfield danced around before flinging a 10-yard touchdown to true freshman running back Trey Sermon, which prompted former coach Bob Stoops to jump up and throw a fist in the air from his box seat. On Ohio State's first play of the next possession, Oklahoma cornerback Parnell Motley popped in front of a J.T. Barrett pass for the interception. The Sooners were in the end zone again four plays later and the rout was on.

Oklahoma defensive end Ogbonnia Okoronkwo noted before games, he listens to "chill music" to find the right mood.

"You know when someone slaps your hand a little too hard?" Okoronkwo said. "That was Baker tonight. After that, he had me jumping around."

During Mayfield's pregame warmup, early-arriving Ohio State fans tried to taunt him, with one particular Buckeye with a bullhorn bellowing Mayfield's name over and over. Eventually, Mayfield cracked a smile.

Then, got the final laugh.

"Nobody picked us," he said. "You see it on social media throughout the week, about 80 percent of the country picking Ohio State to win. Right now, we believe in ourselves.

"And quite frankly, that's all that matters."