This Ian Boyd article is an excellent reminder of how Georgia’s defense had its hands full with Baker Mayfield in the Rose Bowl. Whatever you think of the guy personally, he was astonishing to watch in that game, both early when it seemed he could do nothing wrong, and then later in the fourth quarter, when his team was reeling a bit and he drove the team for the score to tie it at 38. (Check out that back shoulder fade he threw to Lamb in the face of good coverage that Boyd shows. That is one helluva throw, friends.)
Statistically, though, he had an interesting day. In terms of Georgia’s defense, it wasn’t their worst performance of the year in terms of passer rating, as both Lock and Stidham had better days. But from Mayfield’s perspective, it was his worst of the season. Yeah, he still managed a 147.74, which isn’t exactly bad, but considering that he cleared a 200 passer rating in half of his starts, by his standards it was definitely an off day.
In fact, before the Rose Bowl, Mayfield was on track to set a passer rating record by averaging 200 for a season, something no starting quarterback had ever accomplished. He finished at 198.92.
I can’t say that Smart and Tucker painted their masterpiece in a game in which the opponent scored 48 points, but considering whom they were up against, it wasn’t too shabby, either.