Jalen Hurts entered the 2019-20 season as the most accomplished graduate transfer quarterback since graduates were allowed to change schools without sitting out. And Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley had experience winning with transfer QBs, making the the College Football Playoff in each of the last two seasons as a result of their play.
So on Saturday in the Big 12 championship, it was fitting that Hurts, the school's third transfer QB in as many seasons, did everything he could to help OU put itself squarely in the playoff conversation yet again.
Saturday was far from the most glamorous game that Hurts has quarterbacked at Oklahoma. But despite scoring only three fourth-quarter points and watching Baylor’s third-string QB march up and down the field late in the game, Hurts needed only three plays in overtime to help the No. 7 Sooners emerge victorious 30-23, and head to bowl season as conference champions.
“We set out to do this and we did,” Hurts told ESPN’s Holly Rowe after the game. “But we’re not done.”
Oklahoma jumped out to an early 10-0 lead after a six-yard run from Kennedy Brooks and a 44-yard field goal midway through the first quarter. But the OU offense went silent in the second as Baylor’s offense, led by backup QB Gerry Bohanon, who was playing place of starter Charlie Brewer, sparked a rally.
The second half followed a nearly identical script, with the Sooners scoring 10 points in the third quarter while blanking the Bears. And in the fourth quarter, with BU on its third quarterback of the game, Hurts could only watch as OU’s offense only mustered up an early field goal and Baylor’s offense came to life.
It was in overtime, with the game tied 23-23, that Hurts again showed the poise that he had exhibited throughout key moments throughout his time with Alabama.
He needed only three plays to get the Sooners into the end zone. After Baylor and QB Jacob Zeno failed to convert on a fourth-and-10, OU emerged with a conference title yet again.
Hurts finished with a rather pedestrian line by his standards. He was 17-of-24 for 287 yards, one touchdown and one interception, but he help the Sooners convert when it mattered most.
His three years with the Crimson Tide resulted in a national title, two SEC titles and three trips to the national title game.
Oklahoma’s win Saturday could give him another chance to add to his legacy.
"Well," Hurts said. "I hope the story ain't over."