Oklahoma briefly benches Caleb Williams for Spencer Rattler in loss to Baylor

Oklahoma briefly benches Caleb Williams for Spencer Rattler in loss to Baylor

Oklahoma can’t seem to find the answer at quarterback.

The Sooners started the season with preseason Heisman Trophy favorite Spencer Rattler. Then he struggled, and they brought in five-star freshman Caleb Williams, who inserted his name into the Heisman race with a series of strong performances. On Saturday, No. 8 Oklahoma went right back to Rattler after Williams struggled against No. 13 Baylor in the third quarter.

Rattler started his afternoon by heaving up a 50/50 deep ball that went uncaught, and went three-and-out in his first drive as Oklahoma continued to trail Baylor 10-7. Baylor scored the next drive to make it a 17-7 game. Rattler lasted two series, which both ended in punts, before Oklahoma went back to Williams.

Baylor went on to win the game 27-14, handing the Sooners their first loss of the season and delivering a heavy blow to their College Football Playoff hopes.

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The struggles began in the first half as Williams threw an interception and was only able to lead Oklahoma to one touchdown drive. Just before the end of the first half, he also had his throwing hand stepped on after a rushing attempt.

The second half wasn’t much better. Oklahoma’s first drive in the half ended on a broken down play and Williams lobbing up an interception as he tried to throw the ball out of bounds. The next drive, Williams completed just one of two pass attempts and was sacked twice, including once for an 11-yard loss on another broken down play that brought on a 4th-and-35 and forced the team to punt.

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When Williams was benched, he had completed just 8-of-17 passes for 84 yards with no touchdowns and two picks. He rushed nine times for five yards, including a score.

Williams checked back in with 3:57 left in the game after Rattler went 4-for-6 with 36 yards. He proceeded to drive the team down the field 75 yards, capping it off with a touchdown from Kennedy Brooks to make it a 24-14 game with 2:26 left.

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Williams first entered the starting role for Oklahoma when Rattler was benched against Texas during the Red River Showdown on Oct. 9. Rattler was benched after fumbling the ball near the end of the second half, ultimately leading to a Texas touchdown to make it a 35-17 game. Williams came in and led the Sooners to a comeback, completing 16-of-25 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns.

On the year, Williams has completed 68.8 percent of his passes for 1,335 yards with 14 touchdowns and three interceptions, while Rattler completed 74.7 percent of his passes for 1,474 yards with 11 touchdowns and five picks.





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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.