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Murray Wins OU’s Seventh Heisman Trophy

NEW YORK — Kyler Murray’s first trip to New York City has produced the memory of a lifetime.

Murray made history for Oklahoma on Saturday when he was named the Sooners’ seventh winner of the Heisman Memorial Trophy during a ceremony at New York’s PlayStation Theater that included fellow quarterback finalists Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State and Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama.

By winning the 2018 version of college football’s most prestigious individual honor, Murray vaulted OU to a tie for the lead — with Notre Dame and Ohio State — for the most Heisman Trophies won.

With Baker Mayfield earning last year’s trophy, OU also became the first school to produce back-to-back Heisman winners who were quarterbacks.

Oklahoma is just the fourth school with back-to-back Heisman winners. The others were Ohio State (Archie Griffin in 1974 and ’75), Army (Felix “Doc” Blanchard and Glenn Davis in 1945 and ’46) and Yale (Larry Kelley and Clinton Frank in 1936 and ’37). The Sooners have won four Heisman Trophies in the last 16 years. Including OU, only four schools have won more than three Heismans in the history of the award.

Murray, who played the 2015 season at Texas A&M before transferring to Oklahoma, is the fourth Sooners quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy, joining Jason White in 2003, Sam Bradford in 2008 and Mayfield. OU running backs who have claimed the award were Billy Vessels in 1952, Steve Owens in 1969 and Billy Sims in 1978. Sims was in attendance at Saturday’s ceremony.

Named the AP Player of the Year and winning the Davey O’Brien Award (nation’s top quarterback) on Thursday, Murray leads the nation in total yards (school-record 4,945), points responsible for (306), passing efficiency rating (205.7; FBS record is 198.9), yards per pass attempt (11.9; FBS record is 11.1) and yards per completion (16.8, tied). He also ranks second in completion percentage (.709; first among Power Five players).

The Allen, Texas, product has completed 241 of 340 passes this year for 4,053 yards and 40 touchdowns to seven interceptions. He has also rushed for 892 yards and another 11 scores. He needs 108 rushing yards to become just the second player in FBS history to throw for at least 4,000 and run for at least 1,000 in a season (Clemson’s DeShaun Watson did it in 2015 with 4,109 passing and 1,105 rushing in 15 games).

Murray is the first FBS player to enter bowl season averaging at least 300.0 passing yards (311.8) and at least 60.0 rushing yards (68.6) per game. His 4,527 yards of total offense are more than 68 of the country’s other 129 teams, including six squads that are ranked in the AP Top 25 Poll.

Murray has thrown at least two touchdown passes in 12 of 13 games this season, and has thrown at least three TD passes in 10 contests. He had his school- and Big 12-record streak of eight games with at least three TD passes snapped in a win against Oklahoma State on Nov. 10.

Murray, whose 96.1 Total QBR is the highest by a player entering bowl season since ESPN began tracking the metric in 2004, tied a Big 12 record by earning five conference offensive player-of-the-week honors this season. Former Texas running back Ricky Williams also accomplished the feat in his Heisman Trophy-winning season of 1998.

No. 4-ranked OU, which behind Murray leads the nation in points per game (49.5), yards per game (577.9) and yards per play (8.7; FBS record is 8.6), will make its 52nd bowl appearance when it takes on No. 1 Alabama in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl on Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. CT. The game will be televised by ESPN.

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