Baker Mayfield showed why he’s a Heisman Candidate with a flawless first half, as the seventh ranked Sooners put up more than 600 yards of total offense rolling over UTEP 56-7 to open the 2017 season.
Oklahoma took no time getting on the board, as Mayfield went 3-for-3 passing for 55 yards leading a six play, 76-yard opening drive in just two minutes and some change. Riley Anderson scored on a two-yard touchdown run to open the scoring.
UTEP had an methodical answer on their opening drive, and made things interesting for a little bit. UTEP converted a pair of third down conversions, then Walter Dawn finished the drive with two big runs to put the Miners on the board.
Dawn ran for 29-yards on a first down play, then went 19-yards to the house on the next play to cap off a 8-play, 78 yard drive to the tie game at seven.
OU would go eight plays, and 78-yards to take a 14-7 lead after a three-yard Dimitri Flowers touchdown run with 3:56 left in the opening quarter.
After OU forced a quick three-and-out, the UTEP defense would actually force a turn over on downs after a fourth down sack by Dante Lovilette, but the Miners had no answer for Mayfield and the Sooners offensive attack.
Mayfield would start the game completing his first 16 passes in a row. He would find Grant Calcaterra for a 16-yard score, then on the next drive OU tight end Mark Andrews would win a one-on-one battle for a five yard touchdown pass making it 28-7 OU with 6:36 left until halftime.
The Heisman hopeful threw for 329 first half yards, going 19-for-20 passing, while the Miners managed to up only 95 yards of first half total offense, with only 10 total yards in the second quarter.
Andrews caught seven passes for 134 yards in the first half, and the Sooners were well on their way to a 1-0 start to the 2017 season.
OU rested their big guns in the second half, while UTEP continued to struggle with consistency and penalties. OU back up quarterback Kyler Murray came off the bench and went a cool 10-for-11 for 149 yards in the third quarter.
Ryan Metz ended his night 10-for-18 passing for 58 yards, Zack Greenlee also saw some action going 5-for-8 for 31 yards.
UTEP ended the game with just 167 total yards, 73 coming on the ground.
Dawn finished with 56 yards rushing on seven carries, and 11 different Miners caught passes, but the Miners were just 4-of-12 on third downs, averaging just 3.4 yards per play in the game.
One of the biggest stories coming out of this game was the targeting call on Alvin Jones which will keep out of the first half of the Rice game next week.
UTEP was certainly over matched, and were unable to create any type of positive momentum against a surefire playoff team.
The Miners will get their first equal test next week when Rice visits the Sun Bowl.