Baker Mayfield: Oklahoma Sooners QB won't start vs. West Virginia Mountaineers

By The Sports Xchange  |  Nov. 20, 2017 at 6:01 PM
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Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, the overwhelming favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, won't be a starter or a captain in his final home game.

That is the fallout from Mayfield's sideline behavior in Saturday's victory at Kansas, when the senior yelled obscenities and made vulgar gestures toward the Jayhawks. Mayfield apologized after the game.

Coach Lincoln Riley announced the discipline at his weekly Monday press conference. He added that Mayfield will play at some point when the No. 4 Sooners (10-1, 7-1 Big 12) host West Virginia (7-4, 5-3).

"I think it's important for everybody here and across the country to keep in perspective ... that not just Baker, but all these players across the country are still young men. They're still learning. They're still in that phase that they are going to make mistakes," Riley said.

"The important thing is you learn from them and grow from them. I think what we're setting forth here is going to provide Baker an opportunity do that. I think it's something that certainly will get his attention."

Mayfield's apology was his third this year. He also did so after an offseason arrest in Arkansas and for planting the OU flag at midfield after the Sooners' win at Ohio State early in the season.

Mayfield has completed 233 of 329 passes for 3,816 yards, with 34 touchdowns and five interceptions. He ranks third in the country in passing yards per game (346.9). His national-best 199.3 passing efficiency rating is ahead of his FBS record mark of 196.4, set last season.

Sophomore Kyler Murray, a transfer from Texas A&M who has completed 16 of 19 passes this season, is expected to start for Oklahoma.

Later in the press conference, Riley got choked up and had to pause, speechless, for more than 30 seconds when talking about what Mayfield meant to him.

"I don't know if I will ever have a player as special to me as he is," Riley said.

"We've been through a lot together and he's a tremendous teammate. He's the best football player in America. He's got a great heart that a lot of people don't get the chance to see like I do. And I'm proud to be able to say I'm his coach."

West Virginia is expected to be without starting quarterback Will Grier, who suffered a finger injury on Saturday.

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