LOS ANGELES -- Baker Mayfield is not dying.
That's what he wants everyone to know.
But with the Rose Bowl rapidly approaching, it's still in question whether or not he'll be back at 100 percent after battling flu-like symptoms. He says it's been going around the team.
On Saturday, the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback arrived halfway through media day. He said he decided to answer the media's questions after all because he was tired of everyone having to talk on his behalf.
But he spoke with a raspy voice, something that could affect his ability to call plays and communicate when the decibel level at the Rose Bowl spikes on New Year's Day.
"We're confident in where Baker's at and being ready to play well for us tomorrow," head coach Lincoln Riley said on Sunday.
But when asked if his voice could affect how the plays are called:
"I don't want to tell this guy too much about that," he said, gesturing towards Georgia head coach Kirby Smart who was sitting next to him at the press conference.
Smart just chuckled, looked down and smiled. He knows if Mayfield doesn't keep chugging whatever beverage with honey he had in his hand when speaking to the media, Georgia's defense could have a slight advantage.
"I hope I'm 100 percent by Monday. I think I will be," Mayfield said.
So there's still the threat of Mayfield's explosive play-making abilities regardless of how strong or weak his voice is. His abilities aren't just going to disappear. They just may be hindered. He has 4,340 passing yards this season and 41 touchdown passes.
But it's been some time since Maker's battled the flu. He said he had it his freshman season.
Yet, he's preparing and practicing the same. And that's crucial when going up against one of the best defenses in the country.
"They've got playmakers. They play well as a unit. I think just how they call plays, they disguise their blitzes and their coverages very well. But they just have guys that pop out on film. Obviously No. 3 [Roquan Smith] is the biggest one. But they play well as a unit," Mayfield said.
Mayfield has another 24 hours or so to get healthy. Players have been known to play well with the flu on big stages, just ask Michael Jordan or Serena Williams.
But regardless, Mayfield just wants everyone to know:
"I'm not dying."
So talk about something else.
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