"He is a great advantage for them going into this game," Brown said of Jones during Monday morning's weekly Big 12 coaches teleconference. "He has been into the game, he's won the game and he's completing 72 percent of his passes. (He's) very efficient running their up-tempo offense.
"I think he's a tremendous player. In my estimation, he should be the leader for the Heisman."
Ranked No. 10 in this week's coaches' poll and No. 11 in The Associated Press poll, the Longhorns face the No. 1/No. 3 Sooners at 11 a.m. at the Cotton Bowl in a Red River showdown between two 4-0 teams.
OU ranks No. 4 nationally in total offense per game (555.0), No. 5 in passing offense (377.8 yards) and No. 11 in scoring (42.5 points), while Texas ranks No. 25 in rushing offense (206.0), No. 37 in scoring (34.3), No. 46 in total offense (420.8 yards) and No. 76 in passing offense (214.8).
This will be Jones' third OU-Texas game, but it will be the first appearance for Longhorns starting quarterback Case McCoy, a redshirt freshman who will alternate in certain situations with true freshman David Ash.
Jones entered the OU-Texas game in the first quarter as a freshman two years ago after 2008 Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford re-injured his right (throwing) shoulder and was lost for the season. The Longhorns won 16-13.
OU won last year's game 28-20 as Jones completed 24 of 39 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns. He also survived a late-game scare.
The Sooners led 28-10 early in the fourth quarter before Texas surged back. With the score 28-20, Jones was sacked and fumbled with roughly 1:20 remaining. The ball barely crawled out of bounds, allowing OU to retain possession at its own 6-yard line. Two plays later, the Sooners recovered a fumbled punt return by Texas with 1:02 left to seal the game.
"It's really, really hard to get him (Jones) off his rhythm because they limit your blitzes and we're a blitzing team," Brown said. "They limit your blitzes by the speed that they call their plays and their up-tempo. Last year they got out on us very quickly (14-0 in the first quarter) and caught us off-balance. A couple of times we were looking at our wristbands to get in the right defense when they were calling the play and ran a sweep for a touchdown and caught us off-guard numerous times. So that's a huge thing for us to get fixed before Saturday."
Seventeen players listed on the Longhorns' two-deep are either freshmen or redshirt freshmen.
Brown said preparing his newcomers for the OU-Texas atmosphere at the Cotton Bowl is different than preparing for a true road game such as UCLA at the Rose Bowl, where the Longhorns won 49-20 on Sept. 17.
"This one's very different because just about every one of these kids – in fact I think probably all of these kids the last two years before they got here – went to this game," Brown said. "So every person from the state of Texas or Oklahoma that's a prospect gets invited to this game and they come. Most of these kids have been in this environment to watch, so they're not shocked when they walk in it. I think the out-of-state kids are more shocked.
"One time (tight end) Bo Scaife (from Denver Mullen High School) was standing out there as a freshman and said, 'Coach, this is so cool. This is so cool, I think I'm going to hyperventilate.' I said, 'Great, that makes me feel super.'
"I think these players a lot of them came to these two universities to play in this game. So it's an exciting thing instead of an intimidating thing for them. It's a dream to play in this game for kids, and it's a dream to coach in this game. I've been fortunate to be on both sides of it. Coach (Darrell) Royal has (been) on both sides. (Wide receivers coach) Darrell Wyatt has coached on both sides. All of our staff that is new, and about half our staff is new, just can't wait till Saturday because this is one of the reasons they come to Texas to coach as well."
Here are responses from OU coach Bob Stoops during the teleconference:
You've won the last two weeks, but have dropped two spots in The Associated Press poll. If you beat Texas, do you think you'll drop out of the top 10?
"A lot of that is people respecting what other teams have done in difficult situations. That kind of thing happens. When we beat Florida State (23-13) a few weeks ago, everybody was impressed with that. I think a lot of it is just gauged on who you've played. I would imagine this game will mean a lot. It's way too early in the season to get anybody to start lobbying on it. I'm not much on that."
What are the biggest adjustments you have to make facing new Texas offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin, who formerly was at Boise State?
"Just being disciplined to make adjustments to the way they shift around and make adjustments. That's becoming more and more common with more people you play. They do a good job moving around so you have to read it out, adjust with them and then get set to play."
Do you see any similarities in the offense to what you saw during the 43-42 overtime loss in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl game against BSU?
"Yeah, a lot of shifting and moving. There's a lot of similarities there."
Texas has the brother combinations of Colt and Case McCoy and Jordan and Jaxon Shipley. How special was it to have a brother (Mike) follow you as a player at the same school?
"I was very lucky, not just to have my brother follow me, but we played together for a number of years and went to bowl games together and things like that. Actually, my senior year we were set to start together and Mike got his shoulder banged up in the spring game. We had started the whole spring together before he got hurt. It was pretty neat. For those guys, I'm sure it's very unique to have the multiple brother combinations that they have going at the same position. So it's really a very unique situation that they've got going."
Have you had that kind of Texas combination on your teams, or seen that anywhere else?
"I don't believe I have."
Your thoughts on the play of linebacker Tom Wort so far this season.
"He's played really, really well. We really could not have asked for more. He's a hard-working guy. He's invested in studying and learning all that he can about the teams he's playing, so he's just been excellent. He's always been a fiery inspirational guy, and now he's just comfortable in what we're asking him to do, and he's doing it really well."
Could you compare Wort with linebacker Travis Lewis, who also is from the San Antonio area?
"They're kind of a little bit different type players. Tom has excellent quickness and speed also. Everyone always remarks on how talented Travis is and what an athlete he is – and he is all of those things – but Tom is pretty quick and fast, too. He really is. They've got some similarities that way. They both work hard at studying the game. They're tough, physical guys. They have a lot in common, really."
OU quarterback Landry Jones had some shaky moments as a redshirt freshman, but why since then has the transition from Sam Bradford to Jones been so successful?
"In his (Jones') defense, it's understandable that a guy not expected to play for another year gets thrown in is going to have a few rough spots, especially when a bunch of players around him were hurt and not able to play, either. I think a little bit has been made too much of him (Jones) when the whole team struggled with a multitude of injuries we had in 2009. At the end of the day, Landry had some rough spots, but so did the whole offense. Here's a backup guy who wasn't prepared to be the starter as far as the number of snaps in the spring and two-a-days and those kind of things. Now that he's been able to have those snaps in preparation … he really came on and had some great games. Now that he's been getting all that preparation work last year and this year, he's got the same qualities that all our great quarterbacks have had. He's talented. He's a big, strong guy with a big arm. He's bright. He works hard. He's got all that to go with that talent."
Is it possible for a Big 12 team to have one loss and still play for the national championship?
"Oh, absolutely. It's possible. Heck, LSU not so long ago (2008 national title game) won it with two (losses), right? So that precedence has even been set. Anything's possible."
What is it that Texas is doing better than a year ago?
"I felt coming into our game a year ago they were doing a lot really well. What you see now with different coordinators and different schemes, you see guys who are really executing those schemes well, playing hard. You see good talent and speed and how they play. They're a good football team, but we see them that way every year."
Stoops' relationship with Mack Brown?
"We get along just fine. I think a little bit too much is made of that. Mack and I don't have much opportunity to be around each other to be honest. Our schools are quite far away. So where are we to get together? When we're at coaches meeting, we're always cordial to one another and I think respectful of one another, and we've got a lot in common in what we have to do. Outside of that, there isn't a lot of down time that we would spend together. It's just more business than anything. Did I know Mack before this rivalry? No, not really."
Brown's relationship with Stoops:
"We get along fine. We have a respectful relationship. They've done a tremendous job in their program and Bob's obviously is one of the best coaches in the country and will be in the hall of fame."