NORMAN – This is the standard Landry Jones has set for himself.
The Oklahoma quarterback can put up one of the best stat lines of college football's first weekend (he did), and yet there is room for discussion and dissection. That's what happens when you're a Heisman candidate. That's what happens when you're QB1 for the nation's top team.
Let's make it very clear that Jones, like the rest of the Sooners, was by and large good in Saturday's 47-14 rout of Tulsa. No doubting that. You simply cannot complete 74.5 percent of your passes, throw none to the other team, rack up 375 yards and have a bad night.
The junior from New Mexico didn't. But he could have been better. And he knows it.
“Pretty good,” Jones said, when asked to give himself an evaluation. “A little off on some plays and some routes I feel like I missed. I'll watch the film, see how I played and then clean up my mistakes from there.”
In the scope of being “off,” Jones, unlike another quarterback in the state, is not having to explain three interceptions. Jones might have made mistakes, but they were not critical errors, ones that could have kept Tulsa in the game.
But Jones wassometimes errant in throwing to open receivers. A couple of times, he threw to the wrong receiver.
On the second drive, Jones missed an open Trey Millard in the back of the end zone. The throw was high and a little too far in front of Millard, serving as the H-back. Jones also had Dominique Whaley wide open to the right, near the pile-on.
That possession ended in a very short field goal, causing Jones and coordinator Josh Heupel to grouse afterward about red-zone inefficiency.
Later in the quarter, Jones threw off his back foot and forced one to Broyles, who had two Tulsa defenders on his back. That's something Jones will want to be careful of, not telegraphing throws to his top target.
On the next possession, Jones ran a beautiful stretch play-fake to Whaley and then lofted a ball downfield toward Broyles. It was underthrown, obvious to Jones as soon as he let it go. If it's anyone other than Broyles (or maybe Kenny Stills), it probably doesn't get caught. But the All-American made a nice adjustment and caught the ball for a 50-yard gain, with a Tulsa defensive back glued to him.
Jones said it was a touchdown if he led Broyles properly. As it was, it set up another OU touchdown by getting the ball to the 10.
“(He did) all those things you would think a third-year starter would do,” Heupel said. “At the same time, he knows he could be a little bit better on a couple plays here and there and that's what he's constantly pushing for.”
So, it's little stuff. It's nitpicking in a 33-point game, but the reason to bring it up is because of what's on the horizon, that Sept. 17 test at No. 6 Florida State.
“It was a little sloppy,” Jones said. “We've got a long ways to go before we're playing at a peak level. We've just got to get better, week by week.”
Jones sure figures to do so. Remember, too, that the Sooners offense clicked most of the night Saturday without the second-leading receiver from last year's team, Stills.
It went sort of unnoticed after the Tulsa win, but Jones moved past Jason White as OU's second-leading passer.
Jones has thrown for 8,291 yards in 27 games since taking over for Sam Bradford, the only guy ahead of Jones on the passing list.
“Sam and Jason White are two of the better ones to come out of this place and obviously Sam's playing some good ball right now in the NFL,” Jones said. “It's just an honor, to me, just to be named with those guys.”
Bradford's statue was placed last week next to the school's other Heisman winners, including White.
Jones is just 112 yards behind Bradford's mark of 8,403 yards. Maybe he takes over as the all-time leader in the first quarter of the FSU game. Maybe by the half.
And maybe he gets a statue one day, too.