MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Landry Jones will start at quarterback Saturday night in Country Roads coliseum. No news there. Landry always starts for the Sooners.
The OU-West Virginia game marks Landry's 44th straight Sooner start. The man who first got the job because of a quarterback's vulnerability has remained healthy across four seasons.
Landry hasn't always played well, though he mostly has. Hasn't always won, though he mostly has. But answer the bell? Always. Never knocked out of a game, never kept from a start.
What's his secret? Good blocking, tough bones, divine providence?
“It's a little of all of it,” Bob Stoops said. “It is toughness. He's a big strong guy, moreso than people realize. And then there's always some good fortune. He's been protected well.”
Since Landry's streak began, OSU has had six starting quarterbacks, three of which were decked by injury.
Maryland this season lost four QBs to injury and has resorted to a linebacker playing the game's most important position.
The tough and the talented (Robert Griffin, Denard Robinson, Andrew Luck), they've all been sidelined.
Notre Dame's Everett Golson, Arkansas' Tyler Wilson, South Carolina's Connor Shaw. They've all had to miss games this season.
So why has Landry stood tall?
“I don't know,” Landry said with a shrug. “For me, God keeping me safe on the field.”
Of course, it's like the late Clancy Frost, publisher of the Kiowa County Star-Review, used to say. God's on the side with the biggest tackles. Landry has been well-protected.
“That offensive line has done a really great job,” Landry said.
The same line that blocked for Landry in 2009 blocked for Sam Bradford in 2009, and Slingin' Sammy B's shoulder got crunched twice, which started Landry's streak.
“I think there's some always good fortune with it,” Stoops said. “Sam's as tough as they come, and he didn't have the good fortune.”
This stuff can come in waves. Steve Davis never missed a start as Barry Switzer's optioneer. Then Thomas Lott, as tough a wishbone quarterback as God ever made, missed several.
Three Switzer quarterbacks suffered season-ending injuries in a four-year span (Troy Aikman '85, Jamelle Holieway '87, Charles Thompson '88).
Jason White suffered catastrophic knee injuries in back-to-back seasons, then made 25 starts in 2003 and 2004.
So you never know.
“I've taken a lot of big hits around this place,” Landry said, none bigger than that helmet-to-facemask mashing from a Hawkeye in the Insight Bowl last December.
“Never had a concussion. Never really been rolled up on. Even in high school, never missed a game, never got hurt.”
If Old Man Landry answers the call the rest of the season – knock on wood, and Stoops does, every time this subject is broached – he will finish his career with 47 straight starts.
That's a significant number in OU history. It's not 47 straight wins, but in 21st-century football, it's no small accomplishment.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at email@example.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.