Lincoln Riley of Oklahoma, seeking field position against Nebraska, “could have been the first coach in history” to challenge his own team’s INT


On a day the Oklahoma No.3 scored his fewest points under Lincoln Riley in a 23-16 win over Nebraska, the Sooners coach almost made history for another reason. .

After Oklahoma cornerback DJ Graham made a one-handed interception in fourth on his own 3-yard line with 8:16 left in the game, Riley immediately went to talk to officials.

“I might have been the first coach in history to challenge a game we’ve been intercepted in,” Riley said with a laugh. “I was hoping he would have come down.”

An incompletion would have allowed the Sooners to start on their own 24. But being deep in their own territory, Riley chose to play it conservatively, running it on the first and second downs, racking up zero yards before an incompletion on one. third pass. attempt.

After a punt, Samori Toure’s 10-yard return gave Nebraska the ball on the OU’s 38-yard line. The Cornhuskers scored three games later on Adrian Martinez’s 21-yard touchdown pass to reduce Oklahoma’s lead to 23-16 with 5:38 remaining.

“I thought it was juggling a bit,” Riley said, adding that he had asked officials if it was a trap, and they said they had already confirmed it was. “I could have challenged it.

The field position issue was part of a larger theme for Saturday’s game, with former rivals who haven’t met since 2010 playing a close game that often felt more like an old Big 8 contest.

The game featured two missed baskets by Nebraska, one from Oklahoma and an extra point blocked by Nebraska as Pat Fields of the OU returned 100 yards for two at the end of the third quarter, which carried a lead from 14-9 to 16-9.

Oklahoma led just 7-3 at halftime and scored their lowest number of points in any game under Riley, scoring a streak of at least 27 points in 65 games, the longest of all. teams from the AP poll era (since 1936).

“It was a hotly contested game,” said Riley. “You knew it would. Bringing this game back everyone felt how special it would be. Both teams seized the opportunity. It was a tough game that meant a lot to both schools and both fans. “

Quarterback Spencer Rattler had 24 of 34 passes for 214 yards, but his longest pass only totaled 23 yards. He also threw for a touchdown and added another to the ground, while rushing for 35 yards.

“It’s an art to play QB because you have so much control over the decision-making of the game,” Riley said. “I thought he had a good idea of ​​that. He really didn’t endanger the ball.”

Riley said Rattler responded better on Saturday than he would have done last year in his first year as a starter, and that he had complete confidence in him and was adamant that the offensive would take shape.

“To play at an elite level against you have to be keen,” Riley said. “We’re just a ticking away. We’ll get there, though. I promise. We’ll get there soon.”

When the match was over, Graham’s incredible interception created a buzz afterward. Riley said he wasn’t even surprised because Graham frequently does circus captures, and Rattler was asked if he had ever pressured him to play on offense.

“I know he was playing catcher in high school, and I heard he was pretty good,” Rattler added. “He does that all the time in practice. He’ll go up and catch Odell. He’s a ballhawk.”

And while Riley might have had a bit of a problem with where he made the capture, Graham’s defensive coordinator couldn’t bring himself to say he’d rather have him shoot him.

“I like take out too much to tell him to put it on the floor,” said Grinch.


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