Landry Jones' numbers against FSU do not tell entire story

BY TRAVIS HANEY Modified: September 18, 2011 at 5:28 pm •  Published: September 18, 2011

The first was inexcusable. Flushed from the pocket, Jones had time to throw the ball away. Typically, he's overly cautious in that scenario. Most of the time, he gets rid of the ball at the first sign of pressure. In that case, though, he waited until the rush got to him.

A simultaneous hit with an awkward throw and the ball wobbled to an FSU linebacker.

The second pick was more forgivable, more of an arm punt than anything when taking a chance sort of made sense.

With FSU starting quarterback E.J. Manuel injured on the sideline, the Sooners wanted to take a shot deep. Jones noticed Stills was being double-covered down the right sideline, but he threw anyway. It was not the best idea, but he threw it up in the direction of the right guy to make that sort of a catch. And it's not as if it gave the opponent a short field, even if it did lead to a long FSU field goal.

Jones would like those throws back, I'm sure. But they did not get his team beat. He did a lot more good than harm against a Seminoles defense that was, as reported, markedly better than it was a year ago.

Florida State made a concerted effort to prevent two things from beating it: Ryan Broyles and bubble screens (including some to Broyles). It locked down on Broyles, holding him catchless from the first to second touchdown drives, a span of, oh, three quarters. And its defensive backs played physical near the line of scrimmage, limiting the number of screens.

Smart on Josh Heupel and OU's part, the Sooners took advantage of the Noles overplaying those screens in the game's critical moments. Jones pump-faked a screen on the touchdown throw to Stills, allowing Stills to gain distance between himself and Reid. Stats cannot tell you something like that.

They can tell you this: Now sitting at 8,490 yards, Jones moved past Sam Bradford on Saturday to become the school's all-time leading passer. A 16-yard slant pass to Stills late in the third quarter did it. It's interesting Jones set the record on a night that wound up being his second-worst passing day, statistically.

The only other time Jones was under 200 yards as a starter came in his first road start, in the one-point loss to Miami in 2009. Different Jones from that game in the Sunshine State to Saturday's, right?

You think Jones is making that third-and-12 throw back then? Maybe not in 2010, either. But 2011 Jones did.

The Sooners' quarterback has had much better games, no question. But an argument could be made that it was his best victory as quarterback, given the circumstances. More to come?

 

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