NORMAN, Okla. -- Baker Mayfield says his headache went away sometime late Saturday night after he took a shot to the back of the head in the first half of Oklahoma's 30-29 win over TCU.
The Sooners quarterback has passed several concussion tests since and is convinced he will play this weekend against Oklahoma State.
However, another sort of pain is ongoing -- putting up with his girlfriend's trash talk. Baillie Burmaster is a senior soccer player at Oklahoma State and, to hear Mayfield describe it, a Pokes fan who will be out for Sooners blood Saturday night at Bedlam.
"She'll be sitting on the 50-yard line and wearing all orange," Mayfield said laughing.
"She might be supporting me inside, but she's a die-hard Poke fan for life. I promise you that."
Burmaster plans to pursue a career in sports broadcasting and was trying out some of her best one-liners on Mayfield last week, even rubbing it in that Oklahoma State was unbeaten and Oklahoma was not.
"She can't use that one anymore."
Nope, not after Oklahoma State went down last week at home to Baylor. The Bedlam winner could still, however, be in line for a spot in the College Football Playoff.
Mayfield couldn't resist returning a little fire Monday. He's been known to visit Burmaster up in Stillwater and was in enemy territory a month ago. They were at a bagel cafe for breakfast and waiting on their carry-out order. Mayfield was already starting to draw a few double takes.
The order was under Mayfield's name, and when it was called out, the double takes turned to glares.
"But I had two people come up to me and say, 'You're not the only Sooner in here. Don't be ashamed to wear the crimson,'" Mayfield said, beaming, getting in his own shot across the bow.
Now comes the tricky part on the field for Mayfield, and that's playing the way he has all season in racking up 39 total touchdowns and Heisman Trophy numbers while trying to limit any unnecessary blows. That's easier said than done.
He's well aware of the seriousness of head injuries and understands that Oklahoma's medical staff is simply looking out for his best interests in following the proper concussion protocol. Even so, Mayfield won't make any wholesale changes to his attacking, never-say-die style of play.
"That's who I am. I'm not going to go down easy," Mayfield said. "I'm going to play tough, and I'm not going to change that. That's the way I've always been. I need to slide a little bit more and get out of bounds when I can and take fewer shots that I can control, but the one I took Saturday wasn't in my control. That happens. That's football."
Mayfield's numbers through 11 games stack up favorably with the past 13 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks. Only Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow, Marcus Mariota and Robert Griffin had accounted for more touchdowns at this point in their Heisman-winning seasons.
It's hard to believe that Mayfield just sort of showed up on Oklahoma's campus in January 2014 looking for a chance to walk on after starting his career as a walk-on at Texas Tech.
Mayfield led Texas Tech to victories in each of his first five starts as a true freshman in 2013 but was sidelined with a leg injury. He never regained his starting job and decided he would give his childhood dream a shot: to play for Oklahoma. He was forced to sit out the 2014 season as a transfer even though he had walked on at Texas Tech.
Stoops said he'd heard on the Internet that Mayfield was planning to transfer but never actually talked to Mayfield until his first team workout.
"I was just a regular student for a couple of weeks when I got on campus and finally got a chance to join the workout program," Mayfield said. "It was a huge gamble, but I was obviously confident in my abilities because I walked on instead of having a scholarship out of high school. So I already had that self-confidence, and my dad pushed me a little bit and helped me realize this was my dream school growing up. I took the chance and glad I did."
The Oklahoma defensive coaches already had a good feel for what Mayfield could do. As they prepared for Texas Tech in Week 7 of the 2013 season, they saw Mayfield in action the first five weeks of the season before going out with injury.
"He's been sensational, but he's a guy we anticipated was going to be really good," Stoops said. "Not many true freshmen go out there and win as many games as he did, so you could tell he had a lot to him. He's got a great arm, can make any throw and can throw at any angle. The other thing about Baker is that he can scramble and make plays running and then scramble and make plays throwing it. He just has a great feel for the game and is a special story, the way he did it without calling anybody here and just walking on."
Now, imagine that story evolving into something even more special, which it would be if Mayfield can steer the Sooners into the playoff.
It's only fitting that the road will go through his girlfriend's beloved Cowboys. And just for good measure, he got in one last dig regarding her true allegiances on Saturday night at Boone Pickens Stadium.
"I guess she wants to see me do well," he said sheepishly. "But, honestly, she's probably going to be a fair-weather fan.
"She wants to go to the best bowl game."