NORMAN, Okla. – Spencer Rattler never lost his bite.
The redshirt sophomore quarterback entered this season with a national spotlight on him. He was a Heisman Trophy front-runner and a projected top pick in the 2022 NFL draft, but things didn’t go according to plan.
After being benched in favor of Caleb Williams in the second quarter of a game against Texas on Oct. 9, Rattler found himself in the shadows.
The star quarterback didn’t step onto the field for Oklahoma’s next two games against TCU and Kansas, but he finally got his chance to shine Saturday during the team’s 52-21 win over Texas Tech.
The Sooners held a comfortable 45-14 lead with 7:41 left in the contest when Rattler got his number called, and cheers from the home crowd rained down on him as he trotted onto the field.
After starting the drive with a trio of short-yardage plays, Rattler decided to let it fly.
The former starter had been critiqued earlier in the season for not throwing downfield, but he sent a 42-yard bomb in the direction of Brian Darby and watched as the sophomore wideout made a miraculous snag in the end zone.
Rattler jogged over to the sideline after the play and was greeted by a pack of teammates that included Marvin Mims, Jadon Haselwood and Brian Asamoah.
“It was really cool,” Justin Broiles said. “I knew that if he would’ve gotten in (the game), he would’ve done that. It was just a matter of time for everyone to see him come back in and remember for Spencer Rattler was. Let’s not act like Spencer Rattler isn’t Spencer Rattler.”
Rattler completed all five of his passes on the day for 67 yards and one touchdown. He recorded a quarterback rating of 278.6 in the process.
Williams is still going to be OU’s starting quarterback moving forward, although Rattler’s brief appearance on Saturday speaks to his professionalism.
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Talk of Rattler entering the transfer portal has been running rampant since his benching, but the co-captain proved that he’s engaged and ready to strike at any moment.
“That narrative is over, and I hope every one of you (reporters) will write it,” OU head coach Lincoln Riley said. “He’s been a great team guy, he’s gotten better and he’s taking advantage of the reps… I have no doubt that when he gets his next opportunity he’s going to go out and play well.”
Justin Martinez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @JTheSportsDude on Twitter.