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'Proud of the way we responded': What OU coach Lincoln Riley said after Sooners' 76-0 win over Western Carolina

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Lincoln Riley

Head coach Lincoln Riley yells during the game against Western Carolina on Sep. 11.

The #Sooners shutout the Catamounts in Saturday's game, here's our best footage from the night:

Filmed by Collin McDaniel & Justin Jayne

Edited by Justin Jayne

No. 4 Oklahoma (2-0) trounced Western Carolina (0-2) 76-0 on Saturday night behind five touchdown passes from redshirt sophomore quarterback Spencer Rattler.

Two of those passes were caught by redshirt sophomore wide receiver Jadon Haselwood, who ended with four catches for 19 yards. OU’s running game played a part as well, with seven players combining for 279 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Walk-on running backs Jaden Knowles and Todd Hudson each scored two touchdowns, combining for 62 rushing yards.

On the other side of the ball, the OU defense pitched a shutout. The Sooners earned three takeaways, giving up just 178 total yards. Redshirt freshman safety Bryson Washington got an interception while the Sooners’ front seven made four sacks.

After the game, here’s what head coach Lincoln Riley had to say about his team’s performance against the Catamounts:

Opening Statement

“We had a lot of fun tonight. We’re proud of the way the team responded the entire week. For us, it was a battle against ourselves. I think our team was much more mentally in tune to play four quarters and I think you saw that.

“We played a lot of different groups, a lot of different guys. The sideline was engaged in our way, a lot of great energy, and then we made some good improvements for the second game. It was a fun night, it was fun to be able to get a lot of different guys in the game and see them do well with the opportunities.

“We’re proud of the way we responded the second week and we know these challenges are going to keep coming. I know we got a big one coming up next week that we're looking forward to. So, we got to keep pushing out of our comfort zones each and every week.

“So, this one’s in the books and we did a good job with it. We'll be excited to get onto the next challenge.”

On the defensive performance

“Communication was better. We didn't have some of the busts and the gifts that we felt like we gave them last week. Our coverage was tighter overall.

“We just played more sound football. We tackled better and did a nice job of that. It was big obviously getting those turnovers in the second half and the fourth-down stops. That was a pretty complete performance. Certainly much improved in the execution of our scheme.”

On Danny Stutsman and Ethan Downs

“Those are two kids that we found out pretty quickly what we’re gonna get out of them in terms of effort and physicality. And they go, there's not a hesitation that sometimes you get with some freshmen. I mean they go, and they're both physical players and aggressive players.

“They both have really bright futures here. They did some really nice things tonight. You just like seeing that aggression at a young age.”

On Spencer Rattler’s play

“I think he was just more patient. He had a mindset to just go execute and really never got off of that. That's what the best ones do. They can get to that high level of focus and be able to maintain it. He was much better there today.

On next week’s game vs. Nebraska

“It's so cool that they brought it back. What a great job by Joe (Castiglione) and our administration to bring this back. It's been an important game in our program’s history. I think you have to appreciate it, especially ones like these that you don't get every year. This is a little bit of a one-off right now and so I think we definitely have to appreciate it for what it is.

“I think about what it can become as far as bringing so many people back that were a part of this for years, like coaches and players. It's a special one, there's no two ways about it.

The Sooners will take the field in Norman next at 11 a.m CT Saturday, Sep. 18, to play Nebraska (2-1) on Fox.

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