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OU football: 'Belldozer' cuts down on Landry Jones' touchdown passes

The Sooners quarterback loves to throw for TDs, but he gives a thumbs up for whatever helps win ballgames.
BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Published: April 8, 2012

Touchdowns-to-interceptions ratio is a statistic used to evaluate quarterbacks. But it's a stat that will lose relevance this season for Oklahoma's Landry Jones.

Ranked as one of the top college quarterbacks in the country, Jones owns most OU passing records. He turned down being a probable first-round pick in the NFL Draft to return for his senior season.

But for Jones to be a Heisman Trophy contender, voters will have to be cognizant of his touchdown totals — and touchdown-to-interception ratio won't dazzle anyone like some QBs who throw for 35 to 40 touchdowns.

Jones threw for 29 TDs last season, 38 his sophomore year and 26 his redshirt freshman year, when he was pressed into duty after reigning Heisman winner Sam Bradford suffered a shoulder injury that sidelined him most of the season.

But Jones could enjoy the best season of his career and still not throw for more than 20 to 25 touchdowns.

Why? The Belldozer package.

During the second half of last season, on most possessions when the Sooners marched near the end zone, backup quarterback Blake Bell trotted onto the field to run a power formation that was an overwhelming success. It was a scheme that helped Bell score a team-high 13 touchdowns despite playing in only seven games.

With the Belldozer playing a key role, dramatically helping the Sooners improve touchdown production in the red zone, it also dramatically reduced Jones' touchdown totals.

Over OU's final four games Jones' TD-to-interception ratio was 1-to-6 — that's one TD pass, six interceptions.

It would be misleading to imply the Belldozer makes it difficult to throw for scores.

In the Belldozer's first two games, Jones threw for seven touchdowns — five in a lopsided win over Kansas State and two in a victory over Texas A&M.

But the Belldozer will lower Jones' TD total if for no other reason it reduces his opportunities, especially TD chances near the goal line.

During his career, Jones has thrown 34 TD passes in goal-to-goal situations, 59 that went for more than 10 yards.

“We're still going to throw the ball down there,” Jones said. “We're still going to work on stuff. We're not going to take it all out. I just need to take care of the ball and focus on not throwing interceptions, not throwing the ball to the other team.”

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Jones' TD passes

Nearly 80 percent of senior quarterback Landry Jones' 93 TD passes were thrown to receivers/tight ends/running backs no longer on OU's roster.

39 Ryan Broyles

13 Kenny Stills

9 James Hanna

9 DeMarco Murray

5 Cameron Kenney

5 Jaz Reynolds

3 Adrian Tennell

3 Trent Ratterree

2 Trey Millard

2 Brandon Caleb

1 Dejuan Miller

1 Trey Franks

1 Chris Brown

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