Press "Enter" to skip to content

Rattler out, Williams in: student reactions to Oklahoma quarterback controversy

At the beginning of the season,  the University of Oklahoma’s star quarterback, Spencer Rattler, was considered the favorite to win the Heisman trophy, college football’s award for the most outstanding player. Despite Rattler’s contributions to the Sooners’ five straight wins to begin the season, Head Coach Lincoln Riley benched Rattler in the second half of the Texas game in favor of backup Caleb Williams.

Williams manufactured a dramatic comeback to beat the Longhorns, and he has started every game since.

In six games, Rattler posted over 1,300 yards and has thrown 10 touchdowns to five interceptions. Williams, in two and a half games as the starter, has thrown for 685 total yards, eight touchdowns and only one interception.  

Elijah Woods, a sophomore at Oklahoma Christian University, said he was disappointed with Rattler’s play and it was only a matter of time before Williams took his place. 

“The hype surrounding him was crazy and he did not live up to it,” Woods said. “The team just did not feel the same as it has in years past with him playing quarterback”

Woods said the Sooners are playing better with Williams at the helm.

“It has been a new team since he [Williams] took over,” Woods said. “He makes more plays than Rattler did and you can tell is the real leader for the entire program.”

Under Williams, the Sooners are 3-0 and are currently ranked No. 4 in the country. Williams has now entered himself into the Heisman trophy conversation, being listed as the third most likely to win the award. 

Sophomore Michael Ferraro went to high school with Rattler in Arizona, and he said he thinks Rattler was unfairly benched.

“I feel like a lot of the struggles weren’t his fault,” Ferraro said. “Plus, he won every game he started so there is something to be said there.”

Ferraro also said he understands Oklahoma cannot go back now with the way Williams is playing.

“The way Caleb [Williams] is playing, you can’t go back now,” Ferraro said. “I’m interested to see if he begins to struggle if they ever go back to Spencer [Rattler].”

Sophomore Jake Lamar said he initially disagreed with the benching of Rattler due to Williams’ inexperience. 

“I initially thought Rattler’s experience made him better, especially with Caleb Williams being true freshmen,” Lamar said.

Lamar said since Williams became the starter, the team seems to be playing better and responding to Williams’ leadership.  

“They are more explosive on offense making big plays that were not there earlier in the season,” Lamar said. “From the moment he went in, the team completely rallied around him.” 

Lamar said he hopes Williams’ lack of experience does not catch up to him as the season increases in pressure.

“The next few games are our toughest of the year,” Lamar said. “I am just not as confident in a first-year quarterback as one who has been there and done that in the long run.”

Woods said he does not fear Williams’ lack of experience will affect the team.

“When you have a guy this talented, you don’t keep him on the sideline,” Woods said. “The only way to get a guy experience is to play him.”

After the initial game where Rattler was benched, the official depth chart listed the starting quarterback as Rattler or Caleb Williams. This listing has since changed to Caleb Williams as the official starting quarterback.

Email this to someonePrint this pageShare on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn0

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *