It’s not every day that you see a freshman, walk-on quarterback piloting an upper-tier program in a major college football conference, but that is where Texas Tech stood on Friday night. However, not even the Red Raider faithful could have envisioned the explosive capability of Baker Mayfield.
In his first game under center at the college level, Mayfield threw for a staggering 413 yards (on 43 for 60 passing) and 4 touchdowns in leading the Red Raiders to a 41-23 road win over the SMU Mustangs. Mayfield also contributed 16 yards and a touchdown on the ground, pushing his impact even higher in his coming out party.
Obviously, Mayfield’s debut exceeded every rational expectation, and frankly, he was outstanding from beginning to end. The SMU defense doesn’t remind anyone of the 1985 Chicago Bears, but Mayfield didn’t show any glimpses of a walk-on, and by the time the second half began, it was clear that this was “his” team.
It certainly remains to be seen whether Baker Mayfield is this type of player going forward, but there isn’t a better story in college football in the early going. At this rate, he’ll earn a scholarship in short order, but until then, he’ll be known nation-wide as the walk-on who dominated the competition in his first outing under center.