Big 12 News

Lincoln Riley Explains Decision to Start Caleb Williams Over Spencer Rattler

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl-Oklahoma vs Georgia

Lincoln Riley hadn’t addressed the media since earlier in the week. OU cancelled press conferences for Riley after OU Daily did some investigative journalism and saw Caleb Williams practicing with the First Team, while Spencer Rattler was getting more snaps with the Second Team. It’s not known that this was the reason for Riley’s media cancellations, but the timing of the cancellation, which came after the report came out, didn’t seem to be a coincidence.

So when Riley talked with ESPN’s Holly Rowe at halftime of the TCU game, it was the first time he had talked to media in several days, and obviously the first time since his decision to start Williams.

Rowe asked about the decision, to which Riley said, “I thought he played well last week and practiced well this week. It was close. I’ve got a guy who played well last week and a guy who’s won a championship and a lot of ball games, so two good option to choose from and we went with Caleb.”


That’s Riley being subdued about it, but Williams has certainly given the OU offense a much needed spark. This decision caps off what has been a drama-filled week that has seen Spencer Rattler’s dad talk to local OU media and even The Oklahoman columnist Berry Tramel call me a “radio hack” for a prior take I had about Spencer Rattler.

Williams completed his first ten passes of the night and at halftime against TCU he was 13 of 15 for 261 yards and two touchdowns. The Sooners went on to dominate the Horned Frogs 52-31, as Williams now appears to be the clear-cut starter for OU the rest of the season.

What does this all mean for Spencer Rattler’s future in Norman? That remains to be seen.

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