How Oklahoma's Landry Jones used two throws to subdue Florida State

By TRAVIS HANEY, Staff Writer, thaney@opubco.com Published: September 18, 2011


photo - Oklahoma's Kenny Stills (4) catches a touchdown pass behind Florida's Greg Reid (5) during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma (OU) and Florida State (FSU) at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011.Oklahoma won 23-13. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman.
Oklahoma's Kenny Stills (4) catches a touchdown pass behind Florida's Greg Reid (5) during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma (OU) and Florida State (FSU) at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011.Oklahoma won 23-13. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – One Florida State play changed the game. One Oklahoma drive changed it right back – and changed it for good.

And because of it, a possession capped by Kenny Stills' 37-yard touchdown catch, the Sooners are still the nation's No. 1 team. With 10 fourth-quarter points on two impressive drives, they escaped with a 23-13 victory against the fifth-ranked Seminoles in front of a Doak Campbell Stadium-record 84,392 fans.

It was Oklahoma's first non-conference win on the road against a top-five opponent since 1977.

“I want to say how proud I am of the character and poise we showed in the fourth quarter,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “They had the momentum and we seized it right back.”

With dynamic FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel on the bench with a bruised shoulder, backup Clint Trickett flung a deep ball on third-and-28 that magically found the arms of sophomore Rashad Greene for a 56-yard score. The crowd tomahawk chopping and chanting, the Seminoles (2-1) had rallied from 10 points down at the half to tie the game at 13 with 9:32 to play.

The stadium was still in a frenzy when the Sooners faced third-and-12 on their own 40-yard line.

Stills was celebrating in the end zone, however, two plays later with what turned out to be the game-winning score at the seven-minute mark. Oklahoma had just 199 total yards and had not scored a touchdown since the opening drive when the possession began. Two passes, two catches – different game.

“We kind of locked in,” said Sooners quarterback Landry Jones, who passed Sam Bradford to become the school's career passing yardage leader during the game. “We were determined, regardless of what the defense was doing, to get in the end zone and get some points on the board.”

On the third-and-long play, Jones stood in against a heavy rush and found Ryan Broyles for a 22-yard gain in the middle of the field to get to the FSU 37-yard line. Broyles had four catches on the opening drive of the game, but he did not catch another pass until that series.

Jones said it was one of his best throws on the night. Broyles took a big hit, one of many by both sides, and held on.

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