PASADENA, Calif. — The Rose Bowl used to be greater than 4 hours previous when The united states apparently were given precisely what it sought after: Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield in opposition to probably the most very best defenses in school soccer, with the whole lot at the line.
Per week spent combating an sickness and 60 mins seeking to beat again the relentless power from Georgia, and right here used to be a faculty quarterback with the chance he craved, to rewrite his personal legend as a former walk-on, to boost Oklahoma into the nationwide championship sport. In reality, Mayfield had 3 such alternatives as the overall minute of law bled into two overtimes, Oklahoma desiring only one extra little piece of magic from the previous walk-on who changed into essentially the most thrilling participant within the nation.
It by no means came about.
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Mayfield did virtually the whole lot to place the Sooners in place to win and advance to the Jan. eight Faculty Soccer Playoff championship sport in Atlanta, but if he needed to make a large play past due, he merely may just no longer. And as an alternative of leaving the Rose Bowl as a folks hero who burnished his credentials as the best school quarterback of all-time, he as an alternative watched helplessly as operating again Sony Michel took an immediate snap 27 yards to offer Georgia a 54-48 victory.
That is one the Sooners and Mayfield will rue for a very long time.
They rolled throughout the first part with pleasure and creativity, taking a 31-14 lead with seconds final till a odd squib kick proficient Georgia box place, which changed into a 55-yard box objective.
They dug deep after a Georgia’s protection became again into the ambitious unit it used to be all season, making use of relentless power in sacking Mayfield 5 occasions, intercepting him as soon as and producing an avalanche of momentum that changed into 24 instantly Georgia issues.
After which in any case that, that they had come again to be inside of vary of victory, taking a 45-38 lead with 6:52 final.
So sure, because the Bulldogs celebrated a go back to their house state and an opportunity to win its first nationwide name since 1980, the Sooners will spend years regretting how this one spread out.
What if Mayfield, who battled an sickness all week that left his voice raspy and sapped his power, have been 100%? What if Oklahoma’s playcalling had no longer gotten conservative with 5 mins left when Mayfield had an opportunity to near it out? What if head trainer Lincoln Riley hadn’t referred to as for that foolish squib kick, which took an unfortunate leap however undeniably helped give Georgia a bit little bit of momentum popping out of the locker room?
This isn’t to take any credit score clear of Georgia, which made the best 2d part changes and in the end were given in Mayfield’s face, sacking him 5 occasions and intercepting him as soon as. Even on an evening when it yielded 531 yards, Georgia’s protection rose to the problem when it needed to.
However for those who give Mayfield 3 alternatives to win a soccer sport, that’s precisely what you are expecting him to do.
With 55 seconds left and 3 timeouts, he got here up empty. Within the first time beyond regulation, he got here up empty. After which in the second one, the most efficient he may just do used to be some other box objective strive, which Georgia’s Lorezno Carter blocked.
Mayfield will stay an all-time school soccer antagonist, with greater than nine,000 yards and 81 touchdowns over the past two seasons and a swagger that has now and then crossed the road however by no means up to now that he couldn’t again it up.
On Monday, regardless that, Mayfield had one remaining take a look at that can have became him from one among Oklahoma’s largest quarterbacks to transcendent megastar. And 3 alternatives later, now we are aware of it used to be the only he couldn’t move.