Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler has gone from preseason Heisman favorite to player OU fans want benched in less than four games.
A loud contingent of OU fans called for Rattler's backup Caleb Williams in the first half of the No. 4 Sooners' 16-13 win against West Virginia. The chants happened multiple times and first happened after Rattler threw an interception.
You can hear them pretty clearly in the videos below.
Oklahoma fans chanting "WE WANT CA-LEB" : pic.twitter.com/YYG7swCcaC
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) September 26, 2021
Spencer Rattler and the OU Sooners receive "We want Caleb" chants from the Sooner faithful. pic.twitter.com/FE9uyTH6vi
— Zak (@CaramelPhd) September 26, 2021
Rattler was asked about the emotions the crowd vented during the game after the win and he told ESPN's Holly Rowe that "I don't listen to them."
Rattler has thrown eight touchdowns and three interceptions so far in 2021 as Oklahoma hasn't blown out any of its FBS opponents so far. The Sooners scored just three points in the second half in a season-opening 40-35 win over Tulane and beat Nebraska 23-16 in Week 3 after entering the game favored by three touchdowns.
Nebraska played a lot of soft zone coverage and dared Rattler to consistently complete short passes to beat them. That was West Virginia's gameplan too. Rattler finished the game 26-of-36 for 256 yards and a TD and an interception. Oklahoma rushed the ball 28 times for just 57 yards as Eric Gray was the team’s leading rusher with 11 carries for 37 yards.
After Jalen Hurts finished second in the 2019 Heisman voting and Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield won the previous two Heisman awards while quarterbacking Lincoln Riley's offense, it wasn't a stretch to make Rattler the Heisman favorite entering 2021. He was very good in his first season as a starter and was positioned to be one of the top QBs in the 2022 NFL draft with a great season.
That could still happen, of course. The season is just in its fourth week. And Rattler is at least partially a victim of the expectations that were set for him ahead of the season with the chants for Williams. A quarterback with a fraction of the hype isn't held to the same standards — though that isn't exactly an excuse for public clamoring for a college player's benching.