Some say pressure busts pipes.
Others say pressure creates diamonds.
While each may be true, it’s also accurate to say that pressure makes Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield perform at an elite level. The proof is in the passing proficiency, with Mayfield recording the second-highest passer rating under pressure among all draft-eligible quarterbacks at 105.3, as noted by Pro Football Focus.
On 100 pressured drop backs throughout the regular season, Mayfield completed 35 of 71 attempts for 618 yards, 8 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions.
Under pressure – Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield has been cool, calm and collected. He's completed 35-of-71 passes for 618 yards, 8 TDs and just 2 INT on 100 pressured dropbacks – the second-highest passer rating under duress among draft-eligible QBs. pic.twitter.com/LreuqEdrTM
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) November 30, 2017
In short, when the protection breaks down around him and things become chaotic, Mayfield remains as the same poised and proficient gunslinger that’s made him the Heisman frontrunner throughout virtually the entire second half of the season.
Of course, it also helps that his 4,097 yards and 37 touchdowns each rank No. 2 nationally, while his completion rate of 71.4 percent and passer efficiency rating of 203.3 each headline college football. With such an elite talent orchestrating the offense, Oklahoma has navigated its grueling regular season slate en route to an 11-1 record, a Big 12 Championship appearance, and a No. 3 placement in the College Football Playoff rankings.
To that end, now more than ever this season, the Sooners will be under pressure to performance at a peak level, as the conference title and a National Championship are each well within reach. If the way the Sooners senior leader performs under pressure is of any indication, though, Oklahoma will be just fine entering the postseason.
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