During the opening drive of the game, Stoops called for backup quarterback Blake Bell on second-and-3 from the 4-yard line. Bell had no gain, and the very next play, to the shock of OU fans, Jones was back in for a red zone third down. He threw a touchdown pass to Trey Millard to open the game.
Bell ended the night 2-for-5, and Whitfield exalted Jones' red zone performance via Twitter.
“Wow. You can score TDs leaving Landry Jones at QB inside the red zone? Pretty cool. ...”
Whitfield explained his tweet to The Oklahoman.
“I was excited for his opportunity in the red zone,” Whitfield said. “He had two touchdown passes in the red zone. He anticipated Oklahoma's previous red zone protocol and prepared for it.”
What Whitfield is referring to is when Jones called an audible on the Sooners' last drive of the game, sending wide receiver Kenny Stills from a fade rout to a slant, a change that resulted in a game-winning touchdown.
“There's no telling what his stats or Oklahoma's success would have been if he had those opportunities all the time,” Whitfield said.
But you won't hear a peep from Jones about his lack of red zone opportunities besides his typical “competitive guys like to be competitive all the time” answer.
Nope, there are still no blips on the radar of Jones' football composure. Four years later, his best performance of his career came from his calm, collected demeanor under chaos.