“I told myself I needed a big game, especially in this one,” Rattler said Saturday night at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. “And I came out there and trusted the process. Guys around me played really well and helped me out. … O-line blocked well. Receivers caught the ball. Defense played well. So it all — it’s not just me out there. Everybody played well and that contributed to the stat sheet.”
Rightfully so, Rattler deflected credit to his supporting cast. He spread the wealth among his receivers, including a game-high two touchdowns by sophomore Theo Wease.
“Just growing, game by game,” Rattler said. “I trust my receivers a lot. They’re playing really well. My O-line’s blocking great. They’re playing really well. My running backs are playing really well. The defense is playing really well. It all factors together. So I’m not just out there by myself doing that, for sure.”
Since a brief benching in the eventual 53-45 four-overtime win over Texas, Rattler has turned his 2020 season around. Through eight games, he has completed 158 of 232 passes (68.1 percent) for 2,319 yards and 22 touchdowns to six interceptions — three Sept. 26 in Oklahoma’s 38-35 loss against Kansas State — while adding four rushing scores.
“It’s just we don’t have a losing mentality at this program with our standard,” Rattler said. “Of course, we want to win. And we’re used to winning around here, so just we knew we had to turn it up a notch and work harder in practice, do the little things more. Game by game, we’ve just improved and improved, and you can just see it keep going. So we’ve still got work to do and we’re going to get that done.”
The Sooners ride a streak of five straight convincing wins into Week 13. OU (6-2, 5-2) is back on track for a path to the Big 12 Championship Game, trailing only Iowa State (6-2, 6-1) in the conference standings.
Oklahoma looks to keep its momentum rolling next Saturday when it is at West Virginia. The Sooners and Mountaineers (5-3, 4-3) are set for a 7:30 p.m. ET game on ABC.
“It feels really good,” Rattler said. “That was our mindset the whole time, no matter where we’re at. And we fought back. We’re in a good spot right now. We’ve got two games ahead of us and we’re just taking it day by day, game by game.”