Oklahoma (2-2, 1-2 Big 12) bested Texas (2-2, 1-2 Big 12), 53-45, in the Red River Showdown on Saturday in a quadruple-overtime thriller.
The win snaps the Sooners' two-game losing streak and was the highest scoring matchup ever between the two teams.
Here's what Riley had to say after Oklahoma's first conference win of the season:
On benching Spencer Rattler in the first half, starting him in the second
"Spencer did some good things early, and they had a couple of plays that I didn’t like. I knew Tanner had been practicing well. I felt like one, I wanted to give us a new face in there and two, I felt like Tanner would go play well. Then I also felt like that it would help Spencer to take a step back for a second and kind of see the whole thing a little bit and settle down. I think that happened. Tanner was stabilizing for us offensively. (He) made some really nice throws, some key conversions (and) got a scoring drive. Honestly, other than (his fumble), he played pretty well for us. I had confidence in either one and decided at halftime to go ahead and start with Spencer. He got hot and kind of got settled down. We started playing pretty well so I stuck with him the rest of the way."
On the defense's performance
"We just played better there at the end, we played cleaner at the end. … We did a little bit of a better job corralling Sam at the end. And he’s tough, man… the thing that really hurt us there in the fourth quarter was obviously his scrambles. And that’s the toughest thing of football to defend. … It took a lot of guts to do what we did, we made some really competitive plays on the ball. Obviously, the turnovers were huge and even had one call back early. (Made) some really competitive plays and just kind of kept fighting, hung in there (and) trusted the defense. … We had a lot of guys that were hurting, a lot of guys that were just absolutely gassed and everybody was just begging to go back in the game. I just think that says a lot about our culture and toughness, and just how much the (players) were ready to fight tonight."
Rattler's performance in overtime
“He just trusted it. He was better here at the end of the game than he was in a previous couple weeks simply because he trusted. (He) trusted his teammates (and) stayed really true to his reads. I thought his mentality and mindset and confidence was really good. He's a guy that's gonna take any setbacks or any failures, and he's going to learn from them. He's not going to let them discourage him. He just has that way about him. And so I was very confident with the way we played and gave him a lot of opportunities to make plays. And he along with the rest of our offense made a bunch of them there.”
On fourth down decision in overtime, younger players' performance
“I don't want to go too much into decision but it was a play that we felt good about executing because obviously if you don't get it there, they've got a heck of a kicker themselves. Your chances aren't as high as you would want there. So now I just had a lot of faith in the line, (with) Spencer (Rattler) and those guys to push and get it in there. And we did. And as far as playing all the young guys, it was a plan going in. We felt like some of these guys had taken some steps over the last few weeks and were ready to play and, boy, do we ever need them with all the snaps on the field. It was a battle royale and it took every single person to get it done.”
On T.J. Pledger and Marcus Major
“Man, they hanged in there. They were tough for us, they really were. They did some really nice things. They got better. That's what we're going to have to continue to do in that room and every room, but they had some really tough runs that helped make some big time plays. They’re two young guys that are going to continue to grow and get better and better. We took some big steps in the run game and still felt like we left a little bit out there. But probably their fight. It was a little bit of a light (running backs) room this week and they attacked it and made some big time plays.”