Oklahoma survived a tough test this past Saturday, holding off TCU, 30-29 – this after the Horned Frogs’ potential game-winning two-point conversion was batted away by Oklahoma’s Steven Parker.
But don’t call the Sooners lucky. They won despite losing quarterback Baker Mayfield to a head injury, while tailbacks Samaje Perine and Joe Knight both suffered ankle injuries. That duo rushed 37 times for 275 yards and a touchdown against TCU.
Luckily for Oklahoma (10-1), all three players could play against Oklahoma State (10-1) this Saturday.
“Baker, to this point, has passed all the protocol and practiced (Monday) and was fine through it all,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “As long as he continues that way, we expect him to play. If he has any setbacks, then that may be different. And then Samaje and Joe were limited yesterday, but I believe Samaje will be back to full speed and Joe will be able to play, we believe, at this point.”
A win would give the Sooners the Big 12 championship.
“(That’s) where our goals begin,” Stoops said. “We always want to be our conference champion, and you never take that lightly. But then once you do that, you want to be in a position for sure to be in the playoff.”
The Big 12, of course, was left out of the College Football Playoff last year. Stoops hopes that does not happen in 2015.
“Hopefully not,” he said. “I don’t believe it would be (if) we’re able to (win Saturday). We (would have beaten) two top-10 teams on the road in the last three weeks and beat TCU, a ranked team, and put our hand up to go on the road in front of 110,000 to play the SEC’s Tennessee and beat them at their place. I think it’ll be recognized if you’re able to do that. And if Oklahoma State’s able to do it, they’ll be recognized.”
Oklahoma started the year 4-0 before inexplicably losing to Texas in the Red River Showdown. The Sooners have since won six straight games by an average of 32.2 points.
The Longhorns are 4-6.
What happened that day?
“It’s a long time ago,” Stoops said. “We’ve grown a lot. You asked me that earlier on your show. We’re a much different team than we were at that time. There’s been a lot of maturity and a lot of growth and a lot of improvement since then. We’re looking forward now.”
Stoops was asked if he pines for a Bg 12 championship game.
“Right now, with only 10 teams, we play nine conference games,” he said. “The SEC plays eight, so the two teams that are in the championship play nine conference games. We decide ours differently. And we put our hand up to go to Tennessee and play. Not a lot of people are willing to do that.”