Saturday afternoon didn’t go according to plan for Oklahoma starting quarterback Spencer Rattler. The preseason Heisman Trophy contender was benched in the Red River Showdown against Texas after some early struggles.
Lincoln Riley pulled Rattler in the second quarter of the rivalry game on Saturday, after he coughed up a second turnover to the Longhorn defense. He ended the game going 8-for-15 with 111 yards, an interception and a fumble, digging Oklahoma into a deep hole early on in the contest.
Back-up Caleb Williams came in to replace Rattler after the fumble and immediately gave the Sooners a jolt of energy. He outraced the Texas defense on a fourth-and-one for a 66-yard rushing touchdown and continued to claw back closer to the Longhorns.
With Williams in the game, Oklahoma looked like a completely different team and proved that by scoring 24 points in the fourth quarter to pull off the highly unlikely comeback. A touchdown from running back Kennedy Brooks with three seconds left gave the Sooners a 55-48 victory and preserved their undefeated season.
All the while, Rattler waited out the game on the sidelines, watching his hopes of holding onto the starting job slowly grow dimmer.
Fans pointed out that the Oklahoma starter’s body language after he got benched wasn’t all that supportive of his team. One particular camera angle even showed him seemingly unmoved after his replacement broke free for the 66-yard touchdown.
However, Rattler recovered on Sunday morning by tweeting out a message in support of the way his team played against Texas.
“Huge team win yesterday. Proud of all my brothers. 6-0!” Rattler tweeted Sunday morning.
Huge team win yesterday. Proud of all my brothers. 6-0!
— Spencer Rattler (@SpencerRattler) October 10, 2021
Oklahoma might’ve gotten out of the Red River Showdown unscathed, but the program won’t be without controversy. Riley must now determine which quarterback will play for the Sooners moving forward as they eye a trip to the College Football Playoff.
Right after the win, Riley said he was still undecided on which player, Williams or Rattler, would be starting next week against TCU. Although the choice might seem obvious, the competition brewing in Norman will be one to watch in the coming days.
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