Oklahoma’s Jones has always found success versus the Longhorns

Hank South

Coming into the 2012 season, Oklahoma senior quarterback Landry Jones sat atop a variety of national awards lists and was a legitimate contender to win the Heisman Trophy. Jones, the Sooners’ all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns (13,411 yards, 100 TDs), hasn’t put up eye-popping numbers so far this season but somehow always seems to show up for the Red River Rivalry. Let’s take a look at Jones’ stats versus the Longhorns.

In 2009 when starting quarterback Sam Bradford went down for the season after being sacked by Aaron Williams, Jones, who was a redshirt freshman, entered the game. Against one of the top defenses in college football, Jones managed to pass for 250 yards, 35 of them on a touchdown toss to Ryan Broyles that tied the game in the third quarter. But the Sooners couldn’t win the turnover battle, coughing up the ball three times to Texas’ two as Jones was picked off twice. Oklahoma lost the game, 16-13, but showed glimpses of future success.

Entering 2010 Jones was considered one of the better young quarterbacks in college football. The redshirt sophomore had finished 2009 with 3,198 yards and 26 touchdowns and was poised to lead the Sooners back into BCS contention. Jones led the No. 8 Sooners into Dallas looking for revenge for the year before. Jones passed for 236 yards and two touchdowns as Oklahoma handed Texas its second straight loss of the season, 28-20.

By 2011 Longhorn fans were extremely familiar with Jones and his capabilities. In one of the most anticipated Red River Rivalry games in a decade, the No. 11 Longhorns did nothing but show up against the No. 3 Sooners. Jones gashed the Texas secondary for 367 yards and three touchdowns as
Oklahoma ran the Longhorns out of the Cotton Bowl, 55-17.

While Jones has found immense success as a Sooner, the quarterback lost his top target in Broyles last season to graduation. Broyles, the FBS all-time record holder in receptions (349), proved to be Jones’ favorite receiver, hauling in more than 4,000 yards.

When Broyles went down with an injury last November, Jones was clearly rattled, and his numbers showed. Before Broyles was hurt, Jones had a 24-5 record, 7.72 YPA, 2.6 touchdown-interception ratio and a 143.9 quarterback rating. After the Broyles injury, from Nov. 5th, 2011 to now, Jones has a 5-3 record, 61.2 completion percentage, eight touchdowns and eight interceptions — less than stellar numbers.

While Jones still has immense talent in his receiving corps, including Kenny Stills and Jaz Reynolds, it is hard to find a more electric quarterback-receiver duo in
college football.

No matter who the signal caller is for either team, the Red River Rivalry almost always comes down to the turnover battle. Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops reiterated that Monday in his press conference.

“Always in this game, turnovers are always a big factor,” Stoops said.

In fact, in the past 10 meetings between Texas and Oklahoma, the winner of the turnover battle has gone on to win the game.

Saturday should prove to be another great matchup between two historic powerhouse football programs.