NORMAN — Quarterback Baker Mayfield, who wears No. 6, took one step closer to winning Oklahoma's sixth Heisman Trophy when he was named a finalist for the 2017 version of the award Monday evening. It's the second straight year for Mayfield to be named a finalist.
Joining Mayfield on the list of finalists who will be in New York for this weekend's Heisman Trophy festivities Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson (last year's winner) and Stanford running back Bryce Love. The 2017 winner will be announced Saturday during a 7 p.m. CT ceremony at the PlayStation Theater in Times Square that will air live on ESPN.
This marks OU's ninth Heisman Trophy finalist honor since finalists were first named in 1982, tied with Miami (Fla.) for the nation's most. OU has produced a nation-leading eight Heisman finalists since 2000, which is three more than the school with the next most (Alabama has five).
OU's other Heisman finalists were linebacker Brian Bosworth (1986), quarterback Josh Heupel (2000), quarterback Jason White (2003 and 2004), running back Adrian Peterson (2004), quarterback Sam Bradford (2008) and wide receiver Dede Westbrook (2016).
Mayfield, who is also a finalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, Maxwell Award, Davey O'Brien Award and Manning Award, leads the nation in completion percentage (.710), passing efficiency rating (203.8; would break his own FBS record of 196.4 set last year), yards per pass attempt (11.8), yards per completion (16.6) and pass of plays of 20-plus yards (75). He also ranks second in passing touchdowns (41), third in total offense (357.7 ypg) and fourth in passing yards (333.8 per game).
The Austin, Texas, native has completed 262-of-369 passes this year for a career-high 4,340 yards and 41 touchdowns to just five interceptions. He has also rushed for 310 yards and another five scores with no fumbles lost.
Mayfield has thrown a TD pass in a Big 12-record 39 consecutive games (every contest of his OU career), which is the third-longest streak in FBS history. He's also thrown at least two TD passes in a Big 12-record 26 straight contests (81 TDs to 13 interceptions during the stretch), which is tied with Boise State's Kellen Moore for what is believed to be the longest streak in FBS history.
Mayfield's career passing efficiency mark of 176.0 would break the FBS record held by Bradford (175.6).
Oklahoma's Heisman Trophy winners were running backs Billy Vessels in 1952, Steve Owens in 1969 and Billy Sims in 1978, and White in 2003 and Bradford in 2008. Only three schools (Notre Dame 7, Ohio State 7 and USC 6) have produced more Heisman Trophy winners than the Sooners. The next most is three (by six schools).
No. 2-ranked OU, which behind Mayfield leads the nation in yards per game (583.3) and yards per play (8.4; next highest is 7.6), will make its 51st bowl appearance when it takes on No. 3 Georgia in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual on Jan. 1 at 4:10 p.m. CT. The game will be televised by ESPN.