Oklahoma Sooners name Spencer Rattler starting QB for season opener

Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Spencer Rattler
Dec 28, 2019; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Spencer Rattler (7) attempts a pass during the 2019 Peach Bowl college football playoff semifinal game against the LSU Tigers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Spencer Rattler will open the 2020 college football season as the team’s starter, earning the nod after a challenging quarterback competition.

Now, stepping into head coach Lincoln Riley’s offense, he’ll have some monumental shoes to fill by following in the footsteps of Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts.

Who will start at QB for Oklahoma Sooners?

Entering the summer, Oklahoma knew things would be different this season. Even outside the COVID-19 pandemic, which recently sidelined numerous players, the Sooners faced a monumental change at quarterback.

Under Riley, Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy after throwing for 4,627 passing yards with 43 passing touchdowns and a 198.9 quarterback rating. After he was drafted with the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, transfer quarterback Kyler Murray became the starter.

He would also go on to win the Heisman Trophy, recording 4,361 passing yards, a 42-7 TD-INT ratio and rushing for 1,001 yards and 12 scores on the ground. Then, Murray became the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Coming in as a transfer, Jalen Hurts was just as impressive. He threw for 3,851 yards through the air with a 32-8 TD-INT ratio, while compiling 1,323 yards and 21 touchdowns on the ground. He finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting and then became a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Lincoln Riley, who recently signed a monster contract extension, announced Tuesday that Rattler will be Oklahoma’s starting quarterback for the season opener. With it comes even more pressure than many others will face at Power 5 programs.

Rattler, a prized recruit from the 2019 class, only saw a handful of snaps this past season. He appeared in three games, including the College Football Playoff Semifinal, throwing one touchdown and compiling 81 passing yards on 11 attempts.

A dual-threat star in high school the 6-foot-1 quarterback will look to make a similar impact in Oklahoma’s offense. If being a starting quarterback for a powerhouse program with a recent history of turning out stars wasn’t enough, it will also come during the COVID-19 pandemic with fewer practices this summer than in previous years.

Oklahoma Sooners 2020 football schedule

The Big 12 will play college football this fall, a decision that makes many fans across the country happy. However, there’s no guarantee a full season is played and the conference commissioner’s ominous warning highlights the difficulties ahead.

Fortunately, it’s full steam ahead for Oklahoma’s football program. They will kick off their 2020 schedule against Missouri State on Sept. 12, have a week to recover and then begin their conference schedule.

  • vs. Missouri State – Sept. 12
  • vs. Kansas State – Sept. 26
  • at Iowa State – Oct. 3
  • vs. Texas – Oct. 10
  • at TCU – Oct. 24
  • at Texas Tech – Oct. 31
  • vs. Kansas – Nov. 7
  • vs. Oklahoma State – Nov. 21
  • at West Virginia – Nov. 28
  • vs. Baylor – Dec. 5

The Sooners enter the season ranked as the No. 5 team in the AP Top 25 poll and are ranked No. 6 in the Coaches Poll. If Rattler can prove himself and Oklahoma’s defense steps up, the Sooners have a great shot at making it to the College Football Playoff.