NORMAN — The play was already pretty violent.
In 2015, former Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon leveled a TCU defensive lineman to protect quarterback Baker Mayfield during a scramble, lifting the Horned Frog defender off his feet.
Next, with Mayfield finally on his way to the turf, TCU linebacker Ty Summers speared himself toward the QB, delivering an illegal blow to the head that ultimately got himself ejected and left Mayfield concussed.
Now fast forward to this season. Mayfield and Summers were seen talking and being genuinely friendly together after Oklahoma beat TCU 38-20.
They buried the hatchet.
Maybe there wasn’t much of one to bury.
“Ty’s a good dude. He’s the pride of San Antonio Reagan Rattler High School,” Mayfield said. “He’s good friends with [former Sooners] Trevor and Connor [Knight]. He was Trevor’s [high school successor] at quarterback. I’ve known Ty for a while.
“People talk about the hit in 2015, but he didn’t mean to do it.”
Mayfield knows many enemies, but seems to have a spiritual connection with those who played Texas high school football, like he did at Lake Travis. He can rattle off numerous prep teams from his home state with ease.
Mayfield said Summers called his cell phone and left a voice mail apologizing not long after that 2015 game.
“It was very immediate. He didn’t have my number, but he got it from friends. I think it was Trevor,” Mayfield said. “He’s a good guy, very humble, very respectful. There’s a reason he’s had success. He was a quarterback in high school, and now he’s a starting middle linebacker for TCU on a good defense.”
• Evans, OL impress: OU allowed just one sack against TCU, which leads the Big 12 in sacks.
TCU’s top pass rusher — 6-foot-4 defensive end Ben Banogu — was mostly a non-factor, tallying just two tackles while facing right tackle Bobby Evans.
OU struggled to pick up some third-and-shorts in the second half, but there was still plenty of deserved praise for the offensive line.
Evans has been drawing more of that in recent weeks while being recognized as perhaps OU’s next big NFL talent, next to left tackle Orlando Brown.
“He’s played a ton, he’s extremely athletic, he’s a smart kid, understands the offense and he’s going to continue to get better,” OU offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh said of Evans. “He’s very similar to Orlando, and both of those guys, their future beyond here is very bright.”
• Quite the RB: KU coach David Beaty gushed about Mayfield on Monday, but not from the obvious angle of his efficient arm.
Mayfield has averaged just 23.5 rushing yards against the Jayhawks the past two seasons, but Beaty watches enough of Mayfield to know what kind of runner the QB is.
“He runs like an All-Big 12 running back,” Beaty said. “He’s got terrific change of direction, got great vision. He’s strong. I can’t count how many times people hit him right there out of bounds and they fall to the ground and he stays up. I mean, he’s a very strong guy.”
OU (9-1, 6-1 Big 12) visits Kansas (1-9, 0-7) on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. (ESPN).
• No tweets: OU running back Rodney Anderson could have beat his chest on Twitter after piling up 290 all-purpose yards last week against TCU.
Only, Anderson doesn’t have a Twitter account. He said his mom sends him enough clippings from the social media platform that he doesn’t need one.
The redshirt sophomore gets plenty of pressure from the outside to create an account. Those barbs could come inside his own home, which he shares with offensive linemen Evans and Dru Samia.
“I just missed the wave, I don’t know,” Anderson said. “I guess everybody made a Twitter and I just didn’t. Ever since then people have been trying to make me get a Twitter. I just haven’t.”
• Award watch: Mayfield is one of four finalists for the Bulsworth Trophy (top former walk-on) and one of five finalists for the Johnny Unitas Gold Arm Award (top senior or fourth-year junior QB).
OU junior tight end Mark Andrews is one of eight semifinalists for the Mackey Award (top tight end).
Mayfield has won the past two Bulsworth Trophies and is averaging 11.9 yards per pass attempt with a 202.1 pass efficiency rating, which has helped accrue 3,559 yards and 31 touchdowns in 10 games this season.
Andrews has 745 yards receiving and averages 17.3 yards per catch on 43 receptions.
The Burlsworth will be announced Dec. 4 in Springdale, Arkansas, while the Unitas will be awarded Dec. 8 in Baltimore, Maryland.
The Mackey finalists will be announced Nov. 20 and the winner will be announced Dec. 6.