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Three Things Lincoln Riley Said ahead of Bedlam

Riley says Rattler is 100 percent.

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Lincoln Riley hasn’t been the Sooners head coach long, but he has already seen how wacky Bedlam can get.

Riley was on OU’s sideline in the shootouts of 2017 and 2018, but he has yet to lose to his in-state rival. Before the 2020 edition of Bedlam, Riley met with reporters over Zoom on Tuesday. Here are three things he said.

1. Rattler ‘100 percent’ Entering Bedlam

OU’s redshirt freshman quarterback Spencer Rattler was laboring a bit against Kansas two weeks ago.

Rattler injured his left hip on a hit during a touchdown run in the first half. He was seen constantly holding it and grimacing throughout the game.

“Yeah, I got hit pretty good on my hip, just on my hip pointer, just under my rib cage,” Rattler said after the game. “And it’s just kind of like a bad bruise. So, I mean, I couldn’t really finish my throws. You could tell I didn’t have any of my power the whole second half and after that on some of the completions as well.

“I was probably playing at 50 percent. But sometimes you’ve got to tough it out and go out there and just help the team in whatever way you can. But luckily, nothing serious, just a bruise.”

Like Mike Gundy, Riley isn’t one to mince words about injuries, and Tuesday was no different.

“Yeah, he’s 100 percent,” Riley said.

2. Still High Praise for OSU’s Offense

The Cowboys haven’t shown to be the offensive juggernaut they have been in the past this season, but Riley doesn’t sound like he is taking Kasey Dunn’s group lightly.

Despite OSU’s offense ranking fifth in the Big 12 in yards per game, Riley showered praise on Spencer Sanders, Tylan Wallace and Chuba Hubbard.

“They’re all dynamic,” Riley said. “I think where they present problems is those three guys can all win. The only way you can get a lot of people around all of them is to have 13 or 14 players out there, and I don’t think they’re gonna let us do that.”

Chuba Hubbard isn’t having the same year as his Doak Walker-finalist campaign of 2019, but the Canadian speedster still ranks third in the conference with 581 rushing yards, more than any Sooner.

“You can stop him five times in a row, and then with his combination of speed and power, he can pop one and make you forget about those five or six stops pretty quick,” Riley said. “He’s a tremendous player, he’s got a great feel for the run game, great patience and then just kinda knows when to go and has a real gift for separating from people and is incredibly consistent.

“He’s a big-time challenge for us. We had played well there, but this guy is as good as anybody you’ll play in college football.”

3. OSU’s Experienced Defense

With as much potential as OSU’s offense possesses to be good, the Cowboys’ defense has been that good.

The Cowboys have allowed just 17.8 points a game in 2020. Riley credits much of the emergence of OSU’s defense to the experience the group has gotten in the three seasons under Jim Knowles.

“You can tell it’s Year 3 with those guys,” Riley said. “It’s funny, even over the years, we’re playing the same players, just about. There are very few new faces even from the first year that we went against those guys. You’ve got a lot of guys who are good football players, and they’ve grown in this system. I think the biggest thing you see is they look like it’s Year 3. They’re not making mistakes, they’re on the same page, and they’ve got a very experienced and very talented group.”

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