But the second half looked like a statement by the Sooners to the College Football Playoff selection committee: Invite us, and watch out.
Oklahoma and TCU battle for the Big 12 Championship at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas Saturday. Oklahoma discarded those trends in a flash, striking for a 55-yard TD pass from Mayfield to Mykel Jones on its first offensive snap of the third quarter to push OU's lead to 31-17.
A 26-yard field goal by TCU's Cole Bunce with four seconds remaining before halftime cut the Sooner lead to seven points, and gave the Horned Frogs a shot of momentum going into the locker room, knowing that they were going to receive the ball to open the second half.
Hill's second half was not as admirable, highlighted by a mind-boggling throw into double-coverage from his own four-yard line. Both he and the Horned Frogs did not live up to them as an overall disappointing first season finished with a 6-7 record.
The Sooners (12-1) held TCU (10-3) to 95 yards and zero points after halftime.More news: Paul Merson blames Mauricio Pochettino for Tottenham slump
Mayfield is in the news constantly for his off the field actions and conduct, but his play on the field will keep him in the conversation as one of the top quarterbacks. That put Oklahoma up 28-17, and Mayfield and Company took control of the game from there.
The Sooners added to their lead with a 5-yard TD pass from Mayfield to Mark Andrews to culminate a 10-play, 81-yard march that garnered Oklahoma a 17-0 advantage. That included shutting out Oklahoma in the second half the first time the two teams met this season. It was the Sooners' eighth Big 12 title game victory, in nine appearances. The Horned Frogs, who lead the Big 12 in time of possession, came in averaging 184 rushing yards per game (4.6 yards per carry), but ended Saturday with just 83 yards on the ground (3.5 per carry) and had the ball for just over 24 minutes. I didn't really realize it until I saw the replay, how many (people) he was fitting through.
TCU created two critical turnovers, the fumble in the opening minutes of the game and a fourth-quarter interception by OU's Will Johnson. In fact, the Sooners have a very real case to be No. 1. It is their first 12-win season since 2010.
Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley raises the Big 12 Championship trophy after the Sooners beat TCU 41-17 on Saturday.
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