Players to watch: vs. Oklahoma

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Photo Credit: Stephanie Tacy | Daily Texan Staff
  • Baker Mayfield
  • Quarterback

Mayfield placed fourth in the 2015 Heisman Trophy race, accumulating 34 first place votes in the ceremony. 

His junior year did not have an ideal beginning – his Sooners matched their 2015 loss total by starting 1-2. In his first three games, Mayfield took eight sacks and threw two interceptions, but he rebounded with a stellar two-way performance in a 52-46 offensive victory over TCU. He threw for 274 yards, rushed for 55 and accounted for four total touchdowns. 

Mayfield completed 20-of-28 passes for 211 yards against Texas in 2015, but was sacked six times in the loss. this year in Dallas, Mayfield should constantly test the Texas secondary that ranks  95th nationally in passing yards allowed per game (274.8) in order to push the Sooners to a winning record.

 

  • Joe Mixon
  • Running back

Oklahoma actually has NCAA’s all-time single-game rushing leader on the roster in Samaje Perine, but Mixon has been the most impressive back this season. 

The sophomore plays an integral role in both the passing and rushing game for the Sooners, leading the team with 340 yards on the ground. The running back also ranks second on the team in receptions and third in receiving yards.

Mixon only has two offensive touchdowns on the season but is often utilized by the Sooners as a threat to help move the chains on long drives. Mixon also performs returning duties for Oklahoma, and even returned a kickoff 97 yards in a loss to Ohio State. Versatility is the key to his success and he should be found in a variety of roles for the Sooners on Saturday morning.

 

  • Charles Walker
  • Defensive tackle

The 304-pound junior is a highly touted prospect in the 2017 NFL draft. Walker is the leader of Bob Stoops’ 3-4 defensive scheme and can be a nightmare for offensive lines. 

As a 2015 All-Big 12 Second Team member, Walker recorded six sacks, 36 tackles and a forced fumble. 

He has yet to replicate these numbers in 2016, but remains the heart of the Sooners’ defensive line. He enters the Red River Rivalry with seven tackles, including two tackles for loss. 

If Walker hopes to increase his draft stock, a career performance against the Longhorns’ offensive line could draw the eyes of scouts.

 

  • Jordan Evans
  • Inside linebacker

Evans leads the Sooners in tackles with 44 on the season. The senior has recorded double-digit tackles seven times in his career, including an 11-tackle performance against the Longhorns in 2015. 

Evans is a recipient of accolades on and off the field, earning both All-Big 12 Second Team and Academic All-Big 12 First Team honors in his time at Oklahoma. He has seen continued success in 2016 with 3.5 tackles for loss in four contests. 

Texas has been successful in the ground game this season, and Evans serves as the primary counter to the Longhorns’ backfield. By stalling the Longhorns offense, Evans has the opportunity to prevent a 1-3 record against Texas for his senior class.