Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week on Monday for his performance against Missouri State in Saturday’s season opener. The redshirt freshman completed 14-of-17 passes for 290 yards and four touchdowns. To add a little bit more perspective to that, his 82% completion percentage tied for the highest in the country, among quarterbacks with a minimum of ten pass attempts, for college football’s week two. However, it’s who he tied with that should make Sooner fans grin with pride.
Rattler’s backup Tanner Mordecai also completed 82% of his passes. A sophomore, Mordecai was also 14-of-17 with one touchdown and also an interception. Take away the pick and he probably bests the guy he’s backing up on the stat sheet.
“Yeah, he did OK,” Riley said Saturday night of Rattler’s performance. “Played pretty well and I thought he was (calm). I thought he handled it, mentally, really well. He wasn’t too high or too low for this one, so I thought that was important and I thought our line did a really good job early of taking care of him and letting him settle in, which he did pretty quickly.”
The standard has long been set for quarterbacks at the University of Oklahoma and Rattler is the next in line to carry the banner. There will be talk about the level of competition the Sooners faced on Saturday night, and rightfully so, that will continue until Rattler steps up in level of competition against Kansas Sate on September 26th. That said, all you can do is beat the guy that you’re lined up against and Oklahoma’s young gunslinger did that, rather soundly I might add. Besides that, the level of competition had no bearing on the velocity and touch that Rattler threw with. It was just a straight up display of talent.
“I’m proud of the way he handled the situation,” Riley said. “Your first start is always an experience and an emotion that you can’t really duplicate or predict until you just go in there and truly experience it. So I think his kind of calmness and poise allowed him to have a clear mind and make a lot of good decisions.”
Third string quarterback Chandler Morris was perfect on the night completing both of his pass attempts for 37 yards while also running twice for 25 more yards. The story of the night clearly belonged to Rattler but the overall talent of the quarterback room was definitely on display.
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