Oklahoma had two finalists in the running for the Heisman Trophy but neither junior quarterback Baker Mayfield nor senior wide receiver Dede Westbrook won the award in New York Saturday night.
Mayfield and Westbrook were the fifth pair of teammates in the history of the award to be invited to New York as part of the five finalists.
Mayfield, who was fourth in the balloting last year, finished third this season with 361 votes. Westbrook was fourth with 209 votes. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson won the Heisman with 2,144 votes and Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson was second with 1,524 votes. Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers was fourth with 208 votes.
Westbrook will graduate and Watson, a junior in eligibility, said he will enter the NFL draft. That means Mayfield will be among the top preseason favorites next season.
Mayfield and Westbrook were the sixth and seventh Sooners to be Heisman finalists in the 18-year Bob Stoops era and the first since Sam Bradford in 2008. Others were Josh Heupel (2000), Jason White (2003 and 2004) and Adrian Peterson (2004).
The last time a school had two Heisman Trophy finalists (that are currently recognized) in the same year was 2004 when Oklahoma (Adrian Peterson and Jason White) and USC (Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush) both did it. It also happened in 2002 (Miami’s Willis McGahee and Ken Dorsey) and 1994 (Penn State’s Ki’Jana Carter and Kerry Collins).
Mayfield leads the nation in pass efficiency rating (197.8; the NCAA single-season record is 191.8; next highest Power 5 figure this year is 176.5), completion percentage (71.2) and yards per pass attempt (11.1; only one other player is above 10.0). No player has ever finished a season as the national leader in each of those categories.
The redshirt junior from Austin, Texas, also ranks third nationally in points responsible for (22.3 per game) and yards per completion (15.6), and fourth in passing TDs (38). His 22 completions of at least 40 yards are second most in the country, but the leader, who has 23, has played one more game.
Mayfield directed the Sooners to their second straight Big 12 championship this year, as they became the first team to ever go 9-0 in regular season Big 12 play.
He has thrown for an average of 305.8 yards per game and has a career-high 38 touchdown passes against eight interceptions (4.8 ratio). He was even better in league play, leading all quarterbacks in passing TDs (31; next most was 27; third most was 20), completion percentage (.735; next best was .641) and pass efficiency rating (208.9; next best was 158.8).
Westbrook, from Cameron, Texas, won the Biletnikoff Award (outstanding receiver). He leads all Power 5 players in receiving TDs per game (1.33) while ranking second in receiving yards (1,354) and third in receiving yards per game (123.1). He also leads the nation in receptions of 20-plus yards (26), 50-plus yards (7), 60-plus yards (6) and 70-plus yards (3).
Slowed by a hamstring injury in the season’s first three games, he recorded at least 100 receiving yards in eight of OU’s nine Big 12 games and 88 in the other.
Westbrook, who is just the eighth wide receiver to be named a Heisman finalist or win the award (the Heisman Trust didn’t start announcing finalists until 1982), led the Big 12 in conference play in receiving yards (145.7 per game; the next highest average was 95.7) and points (11.6 per game).
OU will take on Auburn in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2 in New Orleans.