OU football: Landry Jones the forgotten man
John Elway was at Floyd Casey Stadium on Saturday night. The Denver Bronco executive vice president — and the best quarterback God ever made — was scouting the OU-Baylor game. Elway saw quite a quarterback show.
Robert Griffin wrote one of the greatest scripts in Baylor football history with his dazzling performance against the Sooners. Griffin also kept Landry Jones from enjoying what could have been one of the best nights in OU quarterbacking history.
Few OU QBs have engineered a rally the way Jones did Saturday night. The Sooners trailed 38-24 after Baylor scored with 12:49 left in the game. Jones drove the Sooners into Baylor territory, but on 4th-and-11 from the Bear 25-yard line, Jones’ desperation pass sailed way over well-covered Jaz Reynolds’ head in the end zone. Just 9:45 remained, and the Sooners looked dead.
But OU’s defense got a quick stop, Baylor punted and Jones returned to the field with 8:27 left. He was superb the rest of the game. On the next two series, Jones completed nine of 11 passes for 89 yards. He was so efficient, playing under pressure and in a massive hurry, the Sooners faced only two third downs in those two possessions. Jones completed passes to convert both.
Jones was not playing with Dom Whaley and Ryan Broyles. Jones’ tailback for the initial series was fourth-team freshamn Brandon Williams. Jones completed passes to Dejuan Miller twice, Trey Franks twice, Brennan Clay twice and Trent Ratterree. Only two completions to Reynolds could be considered caught by Jones reliables.
Both OU drives ended with Blake Bell touchdowns, but make no mistake, the Sooners clawed back in this game because of Jones’ cool presence. Before Adam Shead’s false-start penalty, did anyone doubt that OU’s two-point wouldn’t work. The Sooners were on the verge of one of the great comebacks in their history.
Then Griffin stole the thunder.
Jones completed 36 of 51 passes for 447 yards. He threw a costly interception on the third play of the fourth quarter that put the Sooners in a big hole. Baylor led 31-24, and four players after the pick, it was 38-24. Jones made a poor throw.
But otherwise, Jones was great. His mobility might have been better than we’ve ever seen. A few times, Jones stepped up in the pocket to make quality throws. He also made a couple of throws on the run. Even scrambled for an 11-yard gain.
Jones’ Heisman Trophy hopes are long gone. Robert Griffin’s are alive and well.
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