NORMAN â€” Landry Jones might want to rent â€œVarsity Bluesâ€ this week. So when throwing the ball away next game he can channel â€œMoxâ€ and pelt Herbie Husker's enormous head instead of floating a pick to Prince Amukamara.
Twice, Jones was intercepted by Oklahoma State while trying to unload a pass to the sidelines. He also telegraphed another pass via Western Union that OSU's Shaun Lewis intercepted for a touchdown.
At times, Oklahoma's mild-mannered sophomore quarterback can sure wear you out.
But he's developing into one tremendous quarterback.
Jones has now thrown for 34 touchdowns and almost 4,000 yards. Has now defeated Texas, OSU and will gun for the trifecta Saturday against Nebraska. Has levied a compelling claim the last three-and-a-half games he's the Big 12's best.
â€œLandry stepped up and really delivered some great balls in some tough, important situations,â€ Bob Stoops said postgame Saturday night.
Truth is, while the Sooners almost lost because of Jones, they couldn't have defeated OSU without him.
Jones' first-half interceptions were killers, leading directly to 10 points that kept the Pokes in the fight even though OU was landing the punches.
â€œThey're a good team, and they were going to make their plays,â€ Stoops said. â€œThe important thing is to stay after it. You're still going to have opportunities to make your plays. Maybe he's getting that. Just hang in there, keep playing with confidence.â€
Despite his early miscues, Jones kept passing with confidence. Then, was nothing short of special in the fourth quarter of the biggest game of his career.
After punting their first two possessions, the Sooners came up with points on their final five, thanks to big throw after big throw by Jones on third downs that allowed OU to keep scoring while keeping OSU's offense off the field.
With the game tied 24-24 late in the third quarter, OU faced third-and-5 from the OSU 45, third-and-6 from the 31 and third-and-4 from the 18. But Jones was clutch, finding DeMarco Murray on a dump-off pass, Kenny Stills on a curl, then Ryan Broyles on a quick out to convert all three third downs and set up a short Jimmy Stevens field goal.
On their ensuing drive, the Sooners again faced third down, this time needing seven yards from their own 46. But Jones stood tall in the pocket and delivered a strike downfield to tight end James Hanna to not only convert the first down, but set up another field goal.
Jones, however, saved his most clutch throws for the finish.
OU was clinging to a 33-31 lead, confronted with third-and-12 at its own 14 at the loud end of Boone Pickens Stadium. Jones had almost been intercepted a fourth time on the previous play. All signs pointed to the Sooners running and punting and hoping for the best. Instead, Jones shook off his near disastrous toss and fired what should go down as one of the most memorable passes in Sooner history, a perfect bullet to Cam Kenney on a post for an 86-yard touchdown.
When the Cowboys got off the mat by returning the kickoff for a touchdown, Jones body-slammed them right back down, lofting a beautiful pass to Hanna for the 76-yard game-clinching score.
â€œThat will really help him continue to be the kind of guy we think he is," Stoops said. â€œHe's a special quarterback and showed it again.â€At times, Jones was exasperating Saturday. Mostly, he was special.