Oklahoma Texas Football

Oklahoma wide receiver Marvin Mims (17) makes a diving catch for a touchdown in front of Texas defensive back Darion Dunn (4) during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game at the Cotton Bowl, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Dallas. 

There were a lot of factors that went into Oklahoma’s 55-48 victory over Texas on Saturday.

One of the biggest, though, was a breakout performance from receiver Marvin Mims.

The redshirt sophomore posted his best game of the season, and maybe his career, when the Sooners desperately needed it, finishing with a five-catch, 136-yard performance against the Longhorns.

“The plays he made on the balls down the field were huge plays and just very competitive plays, which is something we as a receiving corps really try to pride ourselves on,” OU coach Lincoln Riley said Tuesday. “And he did a great job.”

Two of his five catches went for touchdowns and stood out as highlights in the Sooners 21-point comeback.

Mims’ first touchdown came late in the third quarter with the Sooners trailing by 18 points. Facing third-and-11, quarterback Caleb Williams bobbled the snap before recovering it and finding Mims in the back of the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown, his first of the season.

But the second one was the play of the game.

On a third-and-19 in the fourth quarter, Williams dropped back to pass before the Longhorns’ pass rush forced him to step in the pocket. Williams heaved the ball down the field toward Mims, who was covered by a Texas defender near the front-right corner of the end zone.

Mims somehow caught the ball and managed to stay inbounds, securing a 52-yard touchdown that, with the ensuing two-point conversion, tied the game at 41-41.

“We probably don’t have the same outcome without him making some of those catches that he did,” Riley said.

It was a much-needed game for Mims, who led the team in receiving last season but got off to a slow start this year.

Despite a five-catch performance against Tulane, Mims only tallied 14 total catches through the team’s first five games. He also hadn’t caught a touchdown, something he did nine times last season.

But Mims’ involvement in the offense has picked up against Kansas State and Texas, recording nine catches and 207 receiving yards over that span.

“It was good to get him a little bit more involved here these last couple of weeks,” Riley said. “I think [he’s] a big key to us playing well. Because he’s one of our best players, and he’s done well. Now, he’s a tough matchup out there, he really is. [He has] the speed, the ability to go get the ball down the field… He’s really, really turned himself into a really good player, and keeps getting better.”

Mims had a good season in 2020 with Spencer Rattler at quarterback, but his biggest moments on Saturday came with Williams under center.

But regardless of which quarterback gets the start against TCU, Mims is confident he can build off of his performance against Texas.

“Honestly, it’s the same thing no matter what, whichever quarterback it is,” Mims said on Tuesday. “Same thing last year. I mean, the way we practice that offense, both quarterbacks are going. There’s not really a divide between that. When we throw routes we’re catching balls from every quarterback on the roster. When Caleb came in it was the same thing. I have a job to do. I have to do my job.”

Mims had his first breakout game last season against this same Horned Frogs team, finishing with 136 receiving yards and two scores, and he has momentum entering this weekend’s rematch.

“It was a huge game for me… which gave me a huge boost of confidence going into the rest of the season,” Mims said. “It was a real special game for me.”

As the Sooners prepare to win their seventh straight game, Riley is hopeful Mims will continue to assert himself in the offense.

“He’s a big factor for us and we want to keep him involved,” Riley said.

Jesse Crittenden is the sports editor of The Transcript and covers OU athletics. Reach him at jesse@normantranscript.com or at 405-366-3580

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