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OU football: What head coach Lincoln Riley said after Sooners' 48-0 win over Missouri State

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Lincoln Riley and Spencer Rattler

Head coach Lincoln Riley talks with redshirt freshman quarterback Spencer Rattler during the Sooners' season opener against Missouri State on Sept. 12.

Oklahoma (1-0) claimed a 48-0 victory over FCS opponent Missouri State (0-1) in its season opener in Norman on Saturday evening.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Spencer Rattler shined in his first career start with 290 passing yards and four touchdowns while the Sooner defense pitched a shutout for the first time under defensive coordinator Alex Grinch.

Here's what head coach Lincoln Riley had to say after the game:

Opening statement

"Really good win, without a doubt… I think our first team's first emotion, I think throughout the game and even in the locker room after, was just appreciative for the opportunity to play. Appreciative of all the people — player staff, medical staff, administration, all the people that have really worked tirelessly for the last several months to even make this a possibility. (We’re) appreciative of all our fans (who) were able to come in there. It was a heck of a whole lot of fun to play in there and our guys loved it. And so, a really good first win. … We were dominant defensively for the entire game, that shutout was really, really important to us. You don’t see those very often in college football anymore so that was definitely special for Speed D."

On Spencer Rattler's performance 

"I thought he handled it well (mentally). He wasn’t too high or two low for this one. I thought our line did a really good job early of taking care of him and letting him settle in, which he did pretty quickly. Guys made a couple plays down the field for him. He did some good things, made a few mistakes like he was going to make. All in all a positive start, but  a long way to go.

"He certainly had energy and juice but he didn't let that consume him and he didn't try to do too much. That’s always some of your chief concerns (as a coach). I’m proud of the way he handled the situation. Your first start is always an experience and an emotion that you can't really duplicate or predict until you actually just go in there and truly experience it. HIs calmness and poise allowed him though to have a clear mind and make a lot of good decisions."

On OU's defense 

"I was excited about the way we tackled, that was one of the biggest concerns coming in just with the limited offseason. It always is in first games, even in normal years. I thought we were pretty disruptive at the line of scrimmage. I thought we had some  different guys step into a lot of different positions and do a lot of very positive things. (We were) pretty sound, kind of where we needed to be. Made tackles, made some explosive plays. Very complete performance from our (defense) tonight."

On lack of available running backs

"We've been in situations like this before. We've only had a couple guys at one position and you've just got to find a way to handle it. At the end of the day it's still a football game. You still have to move the ball and score points or if you're on defense you still have to find a way to stop them. And so, that ended up being our recipe tonight."

On linebacking corps

"I thought they were active… I was excited to see the way they played. It's a group that's got some depth, some very strong, competitive depth. That's a great thing for us as coaches and us as a team because guys are going to have to continue to improve to earn those reps."

On the last 24 hours and the game being ‘in jeopardy’

"It was fun. It was in a way. It’s maybe not exactly how you draw it up but it’s either one of two things, you either see it as a hindrance and say ‘poor me’... or you look at it as an opportunity.  An opportunity to see some new players that maybe we wouldn't have seen. An opportunity as coaches to test yourselves and to be able to adjust when things come up. We had a lot of opportunities tonight, and it was fun to see the guys that stepped up and played in those places.

"It hung in the balance for a bit, but we were able to do it. Thankful we were able to."

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