OU vet Jones vs. A&M's freshman Heisman at Cotton

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 1, 2013 at 3:59 pm •  Published: January 1, 2013
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But Bradford injured his throwing shoulder when he was driven to the turf by a BYU defender in the opener. Jones took over after halftime and, except for two games Bradford played a few weeks later before leaving Oklahoma early for the NFL, has started every game since.

"Landry has had a long and great journey. It started here out of nowhere when Sam Bradford got hurt, and he genuinely could not wait for his opportunity," Sooners coach Bob Stoops said. "Through the year he did a great job in tough circumstances with the other guys around him that were hurt. He has grown and developed through the years. ... It has been special. He has been a great QB for us."

Asked about his confidence going into any game with Jones, Stoops responded, "We have great confidence in Landry and we recognize what a great quarterback Johnny Manziel is, but we love our quarterback as well."

As much as the Aggies love Manziel.

Texas A&M, like Oklahoma, enters the Cotton Bowl with a five-game winning streak. That includes a 29-24 win at then top-ranked Alabama, the SEC champion playing in the BCS national title game next week against No. 1 Notre Dame, the last team to beat the Sooners.

"You've got one guy that's been doing it for a long time, then you've got Johnny, who's been doing it for a year. But I'm confident in Johnny because he plays with a motor," Aggies receiver Ryan Swope said. "He's got a lot of confidence on the field. When the light's flick on, it's game time for him. He's been huge for us."

Just imagine what Manziel might be able to accomplish in 50 starts if he keeps up what he's already doing.

"That will be interesting," Swope said with a smile. "He's got a bright, bright career ahead of him."

For Jones, the Cotton Bowl is the finale of the career when he holds Sooner records for wins, passing yards, TD passes, pass attempts and completions. His Big 12-record 16,368 yards are nearly twice as many as No. 2 Bradford's 8,403, and he's doubled the attempts and completions of Josh Heupel, now the Sooners' quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator.

"It's just been a ride. I'm extremely blessed to have come this far in my career and have a chance to end it where it started," Jones said. "It's starting to hit me knowing that this is my last game, and wanting to go out on a positive note.

"I can still remember the first day and moving into the dorms and getting on campus," he said. "It definitely has flown by."



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