KNOXVILLE, TENN. – Oklahoma continued its recent run of success against the Southeastern Conference with a dramatic overtime victory that Sooners coach Bob Stoops won't soon forget.
Baker Mayfield threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard in the second overtime, and No. 19 Oklahoma rallied from a 17-point deficit in a 31-24 victory Saturday over No. 23 Tennessee.
Stoops compared the victory to a 35-31 triumph over Texas A&M during the Sooners' 2000 national championship season.
"It's one of the more special wins, maybe my favorite of all of them," Stoops said. "A little Sooner magic came back out. It reminded me of maybe like we're back at A&M back in 2000, where we made some plays to win the game that you feel pretty fortunate and blessed to make."
Zack Sanchez clinched Oklahoma's victory by picking off a Joshua Dobbs pass in Tennessee's second overtime possession.
Oklahoma (2-0) beat a Southeastern Conference team for the third straight year. The Sooners also won their sixth straight nonconference road game, a stretch that also includes wins at Florida State in 2011 and at Notre Dame in 2013.
Tennessee (1-1) went ahead 17-0 in the first 18 minutes and still led 17-3 until Mayfield engineered two fourth-quarter touchdown drives. The Sooners silenced what had been a raucous sellout Neyland Stadium crowd of 102,455 — the largest gathering ever to see an Oklahoma game.
After going 8-for-25 for 84 yards with two interceptions in the first three quarters, Mayfield was 11 of 14 for 103 yards with three touchdown passes plus a touchdown run in the fourth quarter and overtime.
"I knew how close we were," Mayfield said. "That's the thing, you can't get negative about it. And it turned out well for us."
As sweet as the win was for Oklahoma, it was equally bitter for Tennessee. The Volunteers have lost 28 of their past 29 games against ranked teams and are 2-34 versus the Top 25 since 2008.
"They gave their all, and we came up a little bit short," Tennessee coach Butch Jones said.
Oklahoma forced overtime on Mayfield's 5-yard touchdown pass to Shepard with 40 seconds left. Tennessee went back ahead 24-17 on Jalen Hurd's 8-yard run in its first overtime series, but Oklahoma answered with Mayfield's 1-yard keeper on fourth-and-goal.
Hurd finished with 106 yards and became the first Oklahoma opponent to rush for at least 100 yards since Alabama's Derrick Henry in the 2014 Sugar Bowl.