The Red River Rivalry game certainly didn’t disappoint this year, especially in the quarterback matchup aspect. Both teams had tremendous plays from their QB’s. We saw controversy, highlight reel type plays, and heartbreak on Saturday afternoon. What more can you ask for from the greatest game in college football?
Week 8 of the Sooners season presents more excitement at the quarterback position as Max Duggan and TCU roll into Norman. This will be an interesting weekend for the quarterback situation in Oklahoma, so let’s jump right into it.
Spencer Rattler has had a tough season for Oklahoma standards. Just when it seemed the sophomore quarterback out of Arizona was back on track, the Longhorns seemingly “rattled Rattler”. I’ve hated that phrase for the year and a half that Spencer has been QB1 for the Sooners. But, after watching the first half against Texas on Saturday there simply isn’t any other explanation.
It certainly isn’t an issue with the tempo of the game, lack of athletic ability, or arm strength for Rattler. So, what is it? I think the only logical explanation is that he doesn’t have the right mindset upstairs. Football is a game of many things, but if you don’t have it together between the ears, you’re in for a rough time.
Rattler got outplayed by Longhorns senior Casey Thompson which puts his overall record at 3-3 on the season. During the quarter and a half that he played on Saturday he completed 8/15 passes for 111 yards, and one interception. He did rush for a touchdown early in the game, but he also fumbled the ball giving him a total of 2 turnovers on the day.
As a fan of Spencer Rattler and a former quarterback myself, I feel bad for the kid. That being said, I’m not sure that we have seen the last of him at Oklahoma. I think he will get another opportunity at some point, and whether or not he takes advantage of it will ultimately determine his future with the Sooners.
I think it’s safe to say that Caleb Williams has earned his own segment in the quarterback matchup breakdown. He took over the game just before halftime, and the rest was history.
After giving the Sooners some life with a 63 yard touchdown run on 4th down, Williams came into the game as QB1 a possession later. You could visibly see the difference in the Oklahoma offense with Williams on the field. You could tell they believed in him to get the job done. The teams reaction anytime he made a big play said it all.
The true freshman played his first meaningful football in nearly two years against a Texas Longhorns team with all of the momentum and a three score lead. That didn’t matter because Williams was prepared for the job and executed the second half game plan almost flawlessly.
He recorded 212 yards through the air and had two touchdowns as well. With Williams at quarterback the Sooners scored on 8 out of 10 drives. The performance will go down in Red River Rivalry history as one of the best performances ever.
I think it’s safe to say that Williams will be, and should be the starter this week against TCU. I don’t see how Lincoln Riley can go any other way after the results of this past weekend. The expectations will be high for Caleb “Superman” Williams, but I think the kid out of D.C. will be ready for the moment.
The Sooners will be faced with the task of stopping the super durable Max Duggan this weekend. Max is a guy that can beat you through the air when given time, and can also extend the play with his feet when things go wrong.
He’s not exactly the guy that you worry about a ton on the ground, but he can definitely make some things happen with his feet. He is also incredibly strong and tough which makes him a threat in short yardage situations. He has 186 yards on the ground this season, and 2 touchdowns to go along with them.
Max doesn’t have a ton of arm strength, but he can pick apart a defense with his accuracy when he gets comfortable. He has thrown for over 1,000 yards this season, and has 9 touchdowns with only 2 interceptions.
The key for Oklahoma will be to make this game as uncomfortable as possible for Max. The Sooners can’t allow him to have time in the pocket. If the defensive line can keep pressure on him, I believe the Horned Frogs will have a tough time moving the ball.
It’s Superman Time!
I don’t think we will see a perfect game from Caleb Williams in his expected first career start, but I do think he will win the quarterback matchup this week. Max Duggan in all likeliness will have some exciting moments, but Williams will be the better overall quarterback.
I do expect to see Williams take full control of the Oklahoma offense. I think he will solidify himself as QB1 for the Sooners moving forward. But hey, what do I know? I’ve been wrong pretty much all season!