Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley was very complimentary of freshman quarterback Caleb Williams after his 295-yard, four-touchdown performance in his first career start against TCU on Saturday night.
Williams, who replaced Sooner quarterback and preseason Heisman favorite Spencer Rattler during the team’s 55-48 win over Texas last week, was very composed throughout Oklahoma’s 52-31 win over TCU at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. He completed 18-of-23 passes and also rushed nine times for 66 yards and a touchdown.
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“I’m confident Spencer would have come in here and played well,” Riley said after the game. “Caleb got his opportunity and did a great job with it.”
Oklahoma QB Caleb Williams is really, really good, and Spencer Rattler’s going ton be playing somewhere else in 2022. And that somewhere probably won’t be the NFL.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 17, 2021
Williams, who was rated as the No. 2 quarterback prospect and No. 7 recruit nationally by the 247Sports Composite in the 2021 class, was not formally revealed as Oklahoma’s starter until Saturday. Following the Sooners’ victory over Texas last week, Riley said he had “a lot of confidence” in both Rattler and Williams but was not ready to name a starter.
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Williams proceeded to have a five-touchdown performance following his three-touchdown outing against Texas last week, in which he threw for 212 yards and ran for 66 after taking over for Rattler late in the second quarter. Riley added that Williams’ rushing ability factored into his successful performance against the Horned Frogs.
“TCU, they do such a great job defensively. So we were able to get loose a couple of times, did some good things in some scramble situations and our guys made plays behind him.”
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Oklahoma’s quarterback scenario got interesting when the OU Daily reported Williams took first-team reps in a Tuesday practice. Riley proceeded to cancel his press conference that day and Thursday.
In his last six quarters, Williams has thrown for more passing touchdowns against FBS schools (six) than Rattler had all season. It is conceivable that Rattler could transfer after this season or declare for the NFL Draft, given Williams’ success in the last two weeks.
His father, Mike, told the OU Daily his son and his family are “leaving our options open.”
“For right now, he’s focused on working for this team, and we’ll see what happens after Jan. 10,” Mike Rattler said. “Hopefully he’ll be playing in the national championship on Jan. 10, and then after that we’ll evaluate where he is as far as if any teams are interested in him in the NFL, we’ll consider that.
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