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When Baker Mayfield and Patrick Mahomes fought perhaps the best college duel ever

In the Divisional Round, the Kansas City Chiefs receive the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, Patrick Mahomes will then meet Baker Mayfield again. The two quarterbacks met in college more than four years ago. It was a game for the history books that the two protagonists will probably remember for their entire lives.

The encounter between Texas Tech and Oklahoma on October 23, 2016 had been eagerly awaited in advance. Red Raiders fans looked forward to the game for weeks, Fox broadcast live, with 60,478 spectators the Jones AT&T Stadium was filled to the last seat.

The reason: Baker Mayfield. After disagreements about his starting role and his university scholarship, he left Texas Tech in a dispute in January 2014 and joined Oklahoma. A decision that his former fellow students never forgave him.

The Sooners' away game at Texas Tech marked Mayfield's first return to Lubbock as a player. And the Red Raiders let him feel their anger: Hundreds of fans streamed into the stadium with T-shirts with "Traitor" printed on them. On the way to the game, Mayfield said he saw a doll on a gallows with his jersey later.

"Our boys were motivated to the tip of their hair," summed up Lincoln Riley, then Oklahoma's offensive coordinator, later. "It was a hostile crowd. The whole story with Baker, all of those things. Our players had talked about it during the week. We were so motivated."

Even before the hated Sooners quarterback had even stepped onto the pitch, clearly audible chants rang through the stadium: "Fuck you, Baker!" The mood in the stands was charged. But the fans had no idea what to expect in the hours that followed.

Mayfield vs. Mahomes: 1708 yards, 1279 passing yards

Oklahoma prevailed against Texas Tech at 66:59, that much is revealed. Without overtime. "It was a basketball result," Mayfield noted afterwards. But even the downright absurd number of points does not adequately describe the madness that took place on the field.

Together, the Sooners and Red Raiders reached 1708 yards that evening, Mayfield and his counterpart Patrick Mahomes cumulatively passed for 1279 yards, Mahomes alone recorded 819 yards and 734 passing yards. All new records in college football history. Til today.

Kliff Kingsbury, then head coach of the Red Raiders, and Lincoln Riley, who was promoted to head coach of the Sooners a year later, retrospectively chose the same word to describe the game: "Epic."

"They played as well as they could get in college," said Kingsbury. "I've never seen two players play better on the same field." Riley added, "I honestly believe that people couldn't believe what they were seeing."

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Mayfield vs. Mahomes: No chance for the defenses

It was a duel between two superstar quarterbacks. Mayfield and Mahomes showed by that day at the latest that they had what it takes to be able to play at the very highest level. But the quality went far beyond the QB position on both sides.

In addition to Mayfield, the Heisman finalist and today's Jaguars receiver Dede Westbrook, Bengals star Joe Mixon as well as Mark Andews and Orlando Brown Jr. from the Ravens ran for Oklahoma. Mahomes, meanwhile, threw passes to Keke Coutee of the Texans and Cameron Batson of the Titans. It was a class that the defenses on both sides simply had nothing to oppose.

Mayfield threw for well over 500 passing yards, came to more than 15 yards per pass attempt and set a new school record for the Sooners with seven touchdown passes. Mixon (263 rushing yards) and Westbrook (202 receiving yards) both cracked the 200 yard mark. That had never happened before either.

On the other hand, Batson ended up missing just one yard to become the guests' third 100-yard receiver. Coutee finished the game with 172 yards, Jonathan Giles got 169, Batson another 99. A total of seven players recorded more than 40 receiving yards for the Red Raiders.

"We were in the lead at first, but they took it back with a long pass just before half-time," recalled Kingsbury. "I knew it would take 60 points to win this thing."

Mayfield vs. Mahomes: Ten touchdowns in a row

Oklahoma went into the break with a 30:24 lead, both teams had set off an offensive fireworks display in the first half. But in the second round, the fireworks turned into a wildfire. Both offenses could no longer be stopped.

"We had a three-and-out at the beginning of the second half and that meant we lost the game," said Texas Tech Kenny Bell looking back. "After that they couldn't stop us, but it didn't help. How many touchdown drives were there in a row?" There were ten. Ten touchdowns, no punt, no turnover and no field goal followed the Red Raiders' punt.

"Most of our plays worked perfectly. It was a little different with Mahomes," said Riley. "He improvised so much, had so many scrambles and throws out of the run. He made some really incredible plays. That kept them in the game."

In fact, Kingsbury left Mahomes, who had a sprained right shoulder and a broken left wrist - "They had to numb his shoulder before the game and then he broke his wrist in the first quarter and no one knew. He was operated on after the season ", revealed Kingsbury later - played, almost invariably pass in the second half. Texas Tech just stopped playing run plays.

At the end of the game Mahomes had thrown 88 (!) Passes, all other players on the team made nine runs.

It was a development that Texas Tech had not planned before the game and that led to some unusual problems. "You just run out of moves at some point," recalled Kingsbury. "When you say so many plays, especially so many pass plays, at some point you just make up things and try to get your people open."

Mayfield vs. Mahomes: "Everyone Knew We'd Score"

"It was the greatest game I have ever played," said Andrews later. "Two great offenses against each other. Everyone knew we would score. I had the feeling all along that the team that got the ball would win."

Ultimately, Oklahoma won by a touchdown lead. The Sooners only had one turnover - a turnover on downs at Fourth-and-One - the Red Raiders two, a fumble from Giles and an interception from Mahomes. That one more mistake made all the difference.

"I wish we had won, but it was just fantastic to be a part of this game," said Mahomes. Any offensive player will remember this day for the rest of their life. The defenders, in turn, may pray that one day they will forget about him.

Kingsbury: "I don't think we'll ever see anything like this again"

After the game, there was a mood in the cabin that he had never experienced before, Teddy Lehman, reporter for Sooners Radio, later recalled. Half of the team celebrated as if they had won the Super Bowl, the other half looked as if they had just lost to Rutgers.

"It felt like we had lost. Yes, we had won the game, but we had allowed 854 yards. Everyone was calm, none of us talked back on the bus ride. We were ashamed," confirmed today's Rams- Defender Ogbonnia Okoronkwo later. "I opened Twitter and uninstalled the app. All of our fans detested us."

However, Riley believes, "It wouldn't have mattered what defense was on. I think a lot of people who just saw the stats and the result were wrong with their judgment. It was a great football game."

A verdict Kingsbury would probably sign. "That [Mayfield and Mahomes] both played the way they played ... I don't think we'll ever see anything like that again."