The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

October 14, 2012

Win secures Jones’ legacy

By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

DALLAS — — How life has changed for Landry Jones in the last three weeks.

Jones has gone from admittedly playing “stupid football’’ in a 24-19 loss to Kansas State on Sept. 21, to further writing his legacy as the Oklahoma quarterback.

Jones threw for 321 yards and two touchdowns in the Sooners’ 63-21 win over Texas, which not only gave him the most career victories as an OU starting quarterback, but a 3-0 record against the Longhorns (as a starter).

He joins Steve Davis, Jimmy Harris and Jamelle  Holieway with that distinction. Those three all have national championship rings.

But he’s the only one of the four to have back-to-back 50-point games against UT. OU won 55-17 last season.

“I think a lot of it is just realizing it’s just another game,’’ said the Artesia, N.M., native. “There’s a lot of emotion that goes into this game. There’s going to be a lot of ups and downs.

“You’re going to make a bad play. They’re going to make a big play. You got to keep playing ball regardless of what happens  and regardless of what’s going on around you. You just keep playing ball. God has given me success. I give him the glory for not only letting me play this game, but at a high level.’’

That’s exactly what OU did Saturday in routing the Longhorns for the second straight year.

“It’s just something we can do,’’ Jones said. “We got a lot of good offensive players. Our defense stepped up and that was huge. When we play tough and physical, it’s difficult to play against us.’’

The Sooners now have gone from being written off, and maybe going to the Pinstripe Bowl, to possibly being back in the national championship race. Kansas State is the lone team in the Big 12 without a league loss.

“I don’t know if we have come miles since then,’’ Jones said. “Football is a game of inches that add up. We have grown up. We’re cutting it loose and having a lot of fun. Regardless of what happens, we’re having fun. Everybody is loose and ready to play and ready to make a big play.’’

He has tried to apply that to himself. For a second straight week, he appeared to be relaxed under pressure. He threw an interception which was returned for a touchdown, but the game was out of hand.

“You’re wanting to be so perfect and wanting to do all kinds of things,’’ Jones said. “You have to realize there is no perfection in this game, regardless how good or how bad you played. You have to remember what kind of player you are and what kind of team we are. You just play as hard as you can.’’

The Sooners ended up with 677 yards in total offense, 407 by halftime when OU led 36-2.

“You don’t get too many games like this,’’ Bell said. “I give God all the glory for letting me play.’

Speaking of big plays, OU set Red River Rivalry records for the longest run (95-yard TD run by Damien Williams) and longest pass (73 yards from Jones to Trey Millard) in the game.

“Seriously, I didn’t know that,’’ Jones said. “It’s just one more thing to add to this game and another cherry on top of the pie.’’

Williams’ 95-yard run with 4:09 left in the first quarter might have been the game’s turning point. It featured a killer block by Kenny Stills at midfield.

“A big hit like that is something cool,’’ Jones said. “We were playing physical. That might have set the tone for the game. The line did a great job creating gap.’’

Jones was proud of the all-time victory record he had shared with Davis, who had written him a letter of encouragement.

“It’s a blessing,’’ he said, “that I’ve gotten to come and play at this place for so long.’’