NORMAN — The odds were not with Landry Jones. To open Oklahoma’s final drive against BYU, Jones short-armed two passes into the turf to set up a third-and-long. But Jones didn’t let that nor the fact OU had converted just 1 of 9 third-down attempts all game shatter his resolve.
As a Brigham Young defender dove at his feet, Jones stepped up into the pocket and stuck a missile into the chest of Brandon Caleb near the sideline for a drive-saving, first-down completion. Few positives came from OU’s season-opening loss to BYU. But how Jones handled himself in relief of Sam Bradford, both when the lights were on him — and when they weren’t — is at the top of that short list. "You saw a guy that was extremely confident,” said quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel. Jones didn’t lead OU to a win, nor did he put up eye-popping numbers in his collegiate debut. In fact, before that final drive, Jones had completed just 3 of 5 passes for 24 yards in the second half. He also committed a blunder by not calling timeout when the play clock expired on fourth-and-goal. Instead of going for the touchdown, OU had to settle for the field goal, which kept BYU within striking distance. But Jones didn’t turn the ball over. He also didn’t play rattled or nervous. "If he was nervous,” said center/tight end Brody Eldridge, "he did a great job of hiding it.” On that final drive, Jones connected on a pair of big-time completions, the latter a 12-yard strike while rolling out across his body to tight end Trent Ratterree, which put the Sooners in field-goal range. "This position requires you to have a lot of confidence,” Jones said. "Carry yourself with a look in your eye.” Jones had that look on OU’s final drive. He also had it in the halftime locker room, when the rest of the offensive players were hanging their heads following Bradford’s shoulder injury.