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Oklahoma football: Quarterback Landry Jones was not the Sooners' problem against UTEP

The offensive line, without experienced Ben Habern and Tyler Evans, struggled to keep defenders away from Jones.
by Jason Kersey Published: September 2, 2012

/articleid/3706533/1/pictures/1816062">Photo - Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Landry Jones (12) is sacked by UTEP's DeAndre Little (53) during the college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Texas El Paso Miners (UTEP) at Sun Bowl Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012, in El Paso, Tex.  Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Landry Jones (12) is sacked by UTEP's DeAndre Little (53) during the college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Texas El Paso Miners (UTEP) at Sun Bowl Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012, in El Paso, Tex. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

And even Stills' day could've been better. On the Sooners' next drive after the touchdown, Jones and Stills hooked up for a 38-yard gain to UTEP's 4-yard line, but it was negated by a Dominique Whaley chop-block.

“We just weren't in sync,” Jones said. “It was one of those things where we would have flashes of greatness, but it wouldn't be all as a team. But we came out with a W and that's what we're shooting for.”

I'm not here to declare Landry Jones the greatest quarterback of all time, nor am I saying he was perfect Saturday. He misfired on some throws, a couple of which could've been intercepted.

But it's undeniable that Jones has significantly improved his game since 2011. The work he put in last spring with quarterback guru George Whitfield, Jr., was apparent.

Jones said he sought Whitfield's advice to improve, among other things, his ability to escape the pocket and throw on the run.

It's a good thing he did, too.

Based on the pressure he faced Saturday, Jones might need those skills if he's going to avoid his predecessor's fate.

In 2009, Sam Bradford, like Jones this year, returned to college instead of jumping to the NFL. And behind an inexperienced offensive line, Bradford took a couple big hits that caused injuries that prematurely ended his days in crimson and cream.

Of Jones' improved mobility, Stoops said: “I think it was obvious tonight. Getting out of some things and avoiding some things. Now ... hopefully he doesn't have to run as much.”

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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