Lincoln Riley made a big gambit on Saturday, with his Oklahoma football team down big to rival Texas. Caleb Williams, not preseason Heisman contender Spencer Rattler, began the second half at quarterback, and led the Sooners all the way back to a win.
After trailing 38-20 at the half, Williams and the Sooners put up 35 second half points to score a 55-48 win. He completed 16-of-25 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns, adding 88 yards and a score on the ground.
Rattler (8-for-15 for 111 yards, one interception, one rushing touchdown) has not looked quite as dynamic as he did late last year throughout the 2021 season. Even so, Lincoln Riley has denied to make a call on who will start against TCU on Saturday. Most figure that Williams is the obvious choice, but ESPN’s Paul Finebaum thinks Riley is handling things appropriately, and will make the right call.
“My hat is off to Lincoln Riley,” Finebaum said during an appearance on the ESPN College Football Podcast, via 247. “It’s maybe not as hard a decision as we’re making it out to be, but when you replace the preseason Heisman Trophy favorite in the biggest game of the year and pull it off, you look really smart.”
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) October 10, 2021
Finebaum cited a somewhat similar situation at Auburn as a point of comparison for Oklahoma. The Tigers benched veteran quarterback Bo Nix as they struggled past Georgia State. The next week, Nix came back and led Auburn past LSU.
“I might give Spencer another shot. It worked for Bo Nix two weeks ago,” Finebaum said. I think Lincoln Riley can figure that one out.”
Oklahoma football hasn’t looked as dominant as it has in other seasons under Riley, though the second half against an improved Texas squad was incredibly impressive.
The Sooners find themselves at No. 4, with an undefeated record and a clear shot at the College Football Playoff. Making the right call at the most important position in sports will be crucial for them to get there though.
OU hosts TCU at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday evening.
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