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#pounditSaturday, December 4, 2021

Articles tagged: Oklahoma Football

Did Spencer Rattler hint at transfer with Instagram bio change?

Spencer Rattler

Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler, who was once considered a Heisman Trophy front runner and a potential top-5 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, now finds himself riding the pine.

Rattler was benched last week in favor of true freshman Caleb Williams, who has now been named the team’s starting quarterback. And not co-quarterback, mind you, but QB1. Beyond just that, Williams is already now considered a Heisman contender.

That, understandably, does not sit well with Rattler. And although he’s stayed quiet and not made waves in the media, he did stir the post a bit this week after briefly changing his Instagram bio.

As part of the change, Rattler altered his bio from “Quarterback @ OU” to “Quarterback” before quickly reversing course and returning it to its original form.

Rattler could enter the transfer portal, which ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. believes he should do rather than declaring for the 2022 NFL Draft.

“I don’t think it makes sense for Rattler to enter the 2022 draft if he plays sparingly the rest of the season,” Kiper said. “He’s not going to want this tape being the last thing NFL scouts see. Rattler is probably going to have to transfer next year and find a new school, and I think he can reestablish himself there. If he can get back to the basics, he can still have an NFL future.

Rattler’s dad, Mike, recently told OU Daily that no decision on a potential transfer has been made.

“For right now, [Spencer] is 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. If we think, ‘Hey, you know what, we may ought to do another year or something at Oklahoma, wherever’ … we’re leaving our options open. But for the most part, right now, we don’t even talk about it, because he’s got a task at hand to deal with.”

On Saturday, Rattler will remain on the sideline as QB2 when the No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners visit the unranked Kansas Jayhawks.

Oklahoma bans media over student newspaper spying on practice?

Lincoln Riley

The University of Oklahoma’s student newspaper went to great lengths this week to gather information about what Lincoln Riley plans to do at the quarterback position, and the ambitious reporting may have led to a media ban.

Oklahoma abruptly canceled all of its media availabilities on Wednesday and announced that there will be no more media access until after Saturday’s game against TCU. No reason was provided.

Most people believe the reason is fairly obvious. On Tuesday, The Oklahoma Daily published a story that included information from the Sooners’ practice and quotes from Spencer Rattler’s father. The second paragraph of the piece stated that reporters observed practice without permission.

“The Daily watched the offensive practice regimen from a public building near the OU football practice field, with no athletics employees discouraging observation,” the story reads. “The Daily does not observe practice regularly, but did so Tuesday under heightened interest given the situation.”

Rattler was benched during Saturday’s Red River Showdown against Texas and replaced by freshman Caleb Williams. The Sooners were trailing 38-20 at halftime, but they came all the way back to beat their rival in dramatic fashion. Naturally, that has led to speculation that Rattler will lose his starting job going forward.

There were rumblings on Monday that Rattler missed practice due to an illness. His father, Mike Rattler, told The Daily that the absence was cleared through Riley and that Rattler remains committed to the program.

Riley is almost certainly unhappy that the student paper watched practice without permission. If you remember, the Sooners took a drastic measure last year just to prevent students from spying on practice. That’s one of the reasons Wednesday’s news was not shocking.

Watch: Oklahoma beats Texas on improbable touchdown with 3 seconds left

Kennedy Brooks touchdown

The 2021 edition of the Red River Shootout was one to remember on Saturday.

Texas jumped out to an early lead on Oklahoma, going up 14-0 before you knew it. The Longhorns led 28-7 in the first quarter and 38-20 at halftime. Oklahoma even benched quarterback Spencer Rattler in the first half.

But the story didn’t end there.

The Sooners started coming back in the second half and took a 48-41 lead late. Texas scored with just over a minute left to tie the game. At that point, the game going to overtime seemed likely. But Oklahoma said not so fast.

They tried to move the ball with just over a minute left and were successful getting it into Texas territory. Then with 10 seconds left in the game, Kennedy Brooks took a direct snap, faked to the right, then ran left for a 33-yard touchdown to win the game.

What a game and what a comeback!

The game was a thriller … unless you are a Texas fan, in which case, sorry.

Brooks finished with 25 carries for 217 yards and two touchdowns, including the winner.

Spencer Rattler benched after awful first half against Texas

Spencer Rattler

The Oklahoma Sooners appear to have made a quarterback change against the Texas Longhorns after another poor showing from Spencer Rattler.

Rattler was benched during Saturday’s Red River Showdown, with the final straw coming in the form of a fumble midway through the second quarter. It was Rattler’s second turnover of the day, with the Sooners already trailing 28-17. That became 35-17 as the Longhorns scored off the fumble.

Rattler was replaced by Caleb Williams for the ensuing Oklahoma drive, which ended with a field goal. Williams remained the quarterback when the second half began as well.

Prior to his benching, Rattler was 8-of-15 for 111 yards and no touchdowns. The lone interception arguably wasn’t his fault, and appeared to be the result of some miscommunication with his wide receiver.

To say Rattler’s season has been a disappointment would be an understatement. Talked about as a preseason Heisman candidate and potential top draft pick, he has thrown five interceptions on the season, has only one 300-yard passing game, and half of his passing touchdowns came in one game against FCS opposition in Western Carolina. It’s been bad enough that some Sooners fans have been clamoring for Rattler to be benched long before Saturday.

Rattler was replaced by Williams, a true freshman who was a five-star recruit. Williams had already scored on a 66-yard touchdown run prior to Rattler’s benching, which may have helped accelerate the process.

Fox runs on field during Oklahoma-Texas game

Cotton Bowl stadium

Oct 10, 2020; Dallas, Texas, USA; Fans walk outside Cotton Bowl Stadium before the Red River Showdown college football game between the Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Texas Longhorns (UT) at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. Mandatory Credit: Bryan Terry-USA TODAY NETWORK

Saturday’s Red River Shootout featured a surprise guest on the field: a wild fox.

The fox appeared during the first quarter of Saturday’s Oklahoma-Texas game at the Cotton Bowl. It was spotted running down the sideline away from the action on the other end of the field.

Where did the fox come from? How did it get into the Cotton Bowl? Your guess is as good as ours. It was enough to prompt a lot of jokes about the fox outgaining the Sooners in yardage, as Oklahoma was trailing 14-0 at the time.

Sadly, the fox apparently moved too fast for ABC’s cameras to capture it in action. That also deprived us of a great animal-on-field commentary moment to rival this one.

Video: Oklahoma fans boo, chant for Spencer Rattler to be benched

Spencer Rattler

Oklahoma fans had zero patience for the Sooners’ offensive struggles on Saturday.

Oklahoma only had seven points in the first half of their game against West Virginia. Spencer Rattler had only passed for 76 yards at the half, and the team trailed 10-7.

Oklahoma fans were booing their team to show dissatisfaction over the performance. They also began to chant “we want Caleb!” after a Rattler interception in the second quarter.

That is harsh.

Rattler was billed as a Heisman Trophy contender entering the season. However, he has not put up the big offensive numbers Sooners fans are used to. They may have been spoiled by having the likes of Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts at quarterback.

They want to see Caleb Williams, the highly-touted freshman quarterback.

Video: Oklahoma’s DJ Graham grabs unbelievable one-handed interception

DJ Graham interception

Oklahoma cornerback D.J. Graham delivered a candidate for interception of the year Saturday in the team’s rivalry game against Nebraska.

With the Cornhuskers going for it on 4th and 18, Graham reached up for a one-handed interception and managed to hang on as he fell for a highlight-reel play.

Does it matter that this ended up costing Oklahoma yards, since an incompletion would have given them the ball anyway? Absolutely not. The play was too cool to ignore.

It’s not often you see defensive backs reeling in balls like that. It’s even notable when it happens at the NFL level, so Graham may have a bright future ahead of him.

Spencer Rattler gets two new cars as part of NIL deal

On July 1, student-athletes earned the right to be compensated for the use of their name, image and likeness (NIL) for the first time ever.

It didn’t take long before college players started cashing in and earlier this week, Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler joined them.

After throwing a career-high five touchdowns in a in a 76-0 beatdown of Western Carolina last week, Rattler was given two brand new vehicles — a 2021 Dodge Ram TRX and a 2021 Dodge Charger Scat Pack — from Fowler Automotive Group, who are based out of Norman, Oklahoma. They also have locations in Oklahoma City, Healdton and Randlett.

“Being QB1 for one of the best football programs in the country is hard work but all the hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed,” Fowler Automotive said in a statement Twitter. “Fowler Automotive wanted to find a way to keep our boy Spencer Rattler comfortable, when he is driving to and from practice, and even though there is only one Spencer, having just one car wasn’t going to be enough, so we went big with two vehicles.

“We are proud and excited to announce our support of Spencer during the 21′ season and we can’t wait to watch all the exciting things he is going to do on the field this year. Welcome to the Fowler Auto!”

The two vehicles from Fowler Automotive aren’t Rattler’s only NIH cash-in. He’s also developed his own logo, opened an online shop and signed a deal with Raising Cane’s. He also sends out customized videos via Cameo.

But the 20-year-old Rattler isn’t keeping everything for himself. He is using his NIL deals and income to help “underserved communities.”

“We as players must use our platform and this new NIL opportunity to do good in the world,” Rattler wrote on Twitter. “I will donate a part of my earnings I receive to help underserved people and underserved communities. The time is now.”

On Saturday, Rattler and the Sooners host the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Texas, Oklahoma essentially confirm Big 12 departure in joint statement

Texas Longhorns logo

It has been widely reported that Texas and Oklahoma are planning to leave the Big 12 to join the SEC, and the two schools have now all but confirmed that publicly.

On Monday, Texas and Oklahoma issued a joint statement announcing they have notified the Big 12 that they will not extend their grant of media rights beyond 2025, which is when the current deal expires. While the statement did not explicitly say the two schools will leave the conference, the message is clear.

That may sound like it places an official date on when Texas and Oklahoma will leave the Big 12. However, USA Today’s Dan Wolken notes that the schools have a legal obligation to honor the grant of rights through 2025, but they could explore ways to leave the Big 12 sooner.

The Big 12 will have little relevance nationally when Texas and Oklahoma leave. That is why the conference is reportedly considering merging with another Power Five conference. Either way, a major shakeup is coming in college athletics.

Report: Texas, Oklahoma moving to SEC nearly a done deal

Texas Longhorns logo

The strongest athletic conference in college sports appears to be on the verge of getting even stronger, as momentum continues to build toward Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC.

Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman reported on Friday that Texas and Oklahoma moving from the Big 12 to the SEC is “almost done.” An announcement could be made as early as next week. Bohls also noted that talks about the move began roughly six months ago, and Texas A&M has not been a part of them.

It was first reported on Wednesday that Texas and Oklahoma were looking to join the SEC. One theory is that Texas A&M officials may have leaked the story hoping that political forces and fans would push back against the conference shakeup and potentially scuttle it.

As of now, Texas A&M is the only school from Texas in the SEC. That gives the Aggies a major advantage with recruiting. Adding the Longhorns to the conference has the potential to set Texas A&M back significantly.

It sounds like Texas A&M is going to have to deal with it. While having Texas in the same conference could be an obstacle for the Aggies, we know who the biggest losers will be if and when the shakeup becomes official.