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Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley cancels press conference after student newspaper reported Caleb Williams, not Spencer Rattler, takes first-team representatives

Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley has once again kept a potential quarterback controversy alive between Spencer Rattler and Caleb Williams.

The fifth-year coach, who had just won the Red River Showdown after benching Rattler for Williams, canceled the Sooners’ regularly scheduled press conference with the media on Wednesday. The move came after the Oklahoma student newspaper, the Daily OU, reported earlier in the day that Williams had performed first-team replays in practice.

MORE: Riley explains why he benched Rattler for Williams: ‘It had a lot to do with turnovers’

The Daily story, co-authored by sports editor Mason Young and deputy sports editor Austin Curtright, determined that Williams was working with the first team. According to the Daily, he outscored Rattler 15-7 in the pre-stretch portion of practice Tuesday and then worked primarily with starting receivers Jadon Haselwood, Marvin Mims and Mike Woods; Rattler worked with second-chain receivers.

The newspaper discovered this by observing Tuesday’s practice from a nearby public building:

“The Daily observed the offensive practice regimen from a public building near the OU soccer practice field, with no athletic employees discouraging the observation. The Daily does not observe the practice regularly, but did so Tuesday with great interest. Given the situation”.

It is not known if Riley’s decision to cancel Wednesday’s press conference was a direct result of the Daily’s report, but it is not the first time that he has had limited access to the media regarding the Sooners quarterback’s situation. . After briefly discussing Rattler’s bench on Saturday, Riley declined to make Williams available to ABC reporter Holly Rowe after the Sooners’ comeback victory.

MORE: How Oklahoma Shocked Texas With Their Biggest Comeback In Red River Showdown History

Rattler was reportedly given the day off Monday. His father, Mike Rattler, reportedly told the Daily that this was because his son was feeling ill. Still, Mike Rattler said he has spoken with his son about his soccer future, telling the Daily that a decision will be made after January 10, the date of the national college football Playoffs championship.

“For now, he’s focused on working for this team, and we’ll see what happens after January 10,” Mike Rattler told the Daily. “Hopefully he will be playing in the national championship on January 10, and then we will assess where he is as to whether any teams are interested in him in the NFL, we will consider that.

“If we think, ‘Hey, you know what, maybe we should do another year or something in Oklahoma, wherever? not even talk about it, because he has a task at hand to face. “

MORE: How Caleb Williams, Sooners Turned Red River Showdown, Big 12 Race, And More Into 55-48 Thriller

Rattler was benched against Texas on Saturday after committing two turnovers, an interception and a fumble, at the Red River Showdown. It’s worth noting that he was also benched in the 2020 rivalry game against the Longhorns after committing turnovers. He finally finished the day completing 8 of 15 passes for 111 yards and an interception. He was also credited with five carries for minus 9 yards, though he returned later in the game to convert a 2-point attempt to tie the game at 41-41.

Williams helped lead the Sooners out of a 28-7 deficit to beat the Sooners 55-48 in Dallas, the biggest comeback in rivalry history. He completed 16 of 25 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a 66-yard touchdown in the second quarter before replacing Rattler.

Oklahoma, ranked No. 4 in the last AP Top 25, will return to action against TCU in Norman, Oklahoma, on Saturday.



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