Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler entered the college football season as the consensus QB1 on everyone’s radar. Rattler’s natural accuracy, arm strength, and ability to make poised and savvy decisions from the pocket earned him a lot of praise and hype throughout the course of the summer. Unfortunately for Rattler, the Phoenix, Arizona native has struggled to turn that hype into tangible results thus far in 2021.
Despite sporting a perfect 6-0 record, Rattler has failed to live up to expectations. The situation came to a halt when Rattler was benched after he committed two early-game turnovers in Oklahoma’s thrilling 55-48 win over Texas. Rattler was replaced by true freshman Caleb Williams, who rallied the Sooners to victory.
Head coach Lincoln Riley now has a massive decision to make regarding the status of his starting quarterback, and a bombshell of a report may have been unearthed on Wednesday afternoon by the unlikeliest of sources. Oklahoma’s The Daily reported that Williams received the bulk of the first-team snaps on offense during Tuesday’s practice while members of the publication observed practice from a nearby building. Oklahoma’s football department responded by canceling all media availability for Wednesday.
This situation embodies the definition of a true “quarterback controversy" going forward. As things stand, Riley should name Williams the starter for Saturday night’s contest against the unranked TCU Horned Frogs. Rattler has received several opportunities to play through his poor performances in recent weeks and has largely failed to do so with any success. Fans had been calling for Williams to replace Rattler following his string of poor performances in back-to-back close victories over Nebraska and West Virginia, and were finally granted their wish in the acclaimed Red River Showdown.
Williams is an electric 5-star recruit who passed the eye test during his opportunity against Texas. The Washington native completed 16-of-25 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for an impressive 88 yards on four carries, including a breathtaking 66-yard touchdown run that jump-started Oklahoma’s miraculous come-from-behind victory. Williams also took excellent care of the football by accounting for three total scores while impressively not committing a turnover.
Whatever comes next for Rattler will be analyzed and scrutinized under the most watchful of eyes. Regardless of who commands Oklahoma’s offense against TCU on Saturday, the book certainly isn’t closed on Rattler as a member of the Sooners. This is a developing and ongoing situation that will play out with drama aplenty over the next few months.
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