Oklahoma football: Lincoln Riley addresses fans calling for Spencer Rattler to be benched

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he Oklahoma Sooners are 4-0 on the season, but three of their wins have been one-score games. The Sooners survived an upset scare for the second week in a row by defeating West Virginia by a score of 16-13 Saturday.

Quarterback Spencer Rattler has struggled at times, throwing three interceptions through the first four games. This has led to some Sooners fans calling for Rattler’s backup, five-star true freshman Caleb Williams.

During Saturday’s post-game press conference, head coach Lincoln Riley addressed fans calling for Rattler to be benched.

“That’s college football, man. When you have the expectations that we have here in this program and the expectations offensively, it’s part of it,” Riley said. “It’s out of our control. Of course, it always helps us a lot more when our fan base supports us. I’ll come out and say that. I want to play better offensively more than anybody out there, but them being behind us is what helps. Spencer handled it. It didn’t bother him at all. And honestly, as I was evaluating it through the game, we’ve gotta play a lot better around him. He can do some things better. He hung in there and really trusted it. The only pick he threw, we totally busted a route. That was probably his best throw of the night.

“So I know how it looks to the casual fan, and I’m certainly not saying that Spencer can’t play better. He can, he will. But we’ve got to play better around him too. We’ve got to coach better around him. We get it. When offensive football doesn’t work, they’re gonna look at the coach and they’re gonna look at the quarterback. That’s since the beginning of mankind. So we understand that they’re big-boy roles, but we do appreciate the support of the fan base. It was great atmosphere in there tonight, and I’ll tell you what — Spencer and, again, the whole offense, we’ll own what we didn’t do well. We’re not going to shy away from that. I’ll tell you what, it takes a lot of balls to do what we did there at the end. People better see that too.”

On the season, Rattler has completed 74.1% of his passes for 1,017 yards with eight touchdowns and three interceptions. He has also rushed for 71 yards and two touchdowns.

Overall, Riley was proud of the way his team responded vs. Wes Virginia. However, he admitted they are not where they want to be offensively.

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“It’s fun to see us respond. We’re not playing very good offensively right now. We know we got to get better. I think we will,” Riley told ESPN’s Holy Rowe after the game.

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