After Oklahoma’s first half performance in the Baylor game, couch coaches all over the internet were calling for Spencer Rattler. By the end of Oklahoma’s biggest comeback in school history I think its’ clear those people were wrong.
An Uphill Battle
Regardless of who was QB1 they would have been facing adversity. For one, star WR Cee Dee Lamb was out. This would cause just about any QB to put some unnecessary pressure on themselves. It was evident Hurts did as he tried to force a few passes.
The other issue was Oklahoma’s O line. Baylor did a good job of keeping hurts under pressure the whole night. It took him at least a half to adjust.
Even when Hurts was able to adjust, the Baylor D was no joke. Baylor’s D was ranked no. 13 nationally coming into this game. Anyone with basic football IQ would tell you the D was a huge reason they were able to stay undefeated for so long. Not to mention, they’re big guys who can hit hard. At 6′ 2″ 219 lbs, Hurts could take a lick and keep moving. Even so, I was worried Hurts was getting smacked around too much. Imagine how fans would feel if Rattler, their 6′ 1″ 198 lbs goldenchild, was taking hits like this.
These issues compounded and all of the sudden, OU was down 25 points at half. No matter who is in at quarterback OU comes into the second half in a similar position. The reason OU needs Hurts is because of his ability to lead under pressure.
Hurts was 30-of-42 passing for 297 yards with all of his TDs coming after Baylor took a 28-3 lead early in the second quarter. I was hardly surprised, Hurts has been there done that. Watching Hurts in the second half reminded me of when he stepped in for Tua in the 2018 SEC title game.
There is no way someone without a full 4 quarters of NCAA experience is going to have the confidence to do what Jalen Hurts did. I know Rattler will one day be that guy, but he isn’t right now. The idea of throwing in a true freshman under that much pressure is asinine.
A Look Ahead
We definitely saw a regression in Jalen Hurts and the entire team in that first half but his response is exactly what we need. As championship November continues, these high pressure situations against solid defenses are going to be more common. With their backs against the wall I’m taking Hurts over Rattler every single time. As the pressure lightens up look for Riley to trickle in Rattler to build up his confidence. Rattler is going to be even better than Hurts one day, he’s just not our go to guy in 2019.
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Oklahoma Sooners fan and content editor at Saturday Tailgate.