Jones gets revenge for Sooners in Bedlam

NORMAN, Okla. — Not even Bedlam could shake even a bit of emotion loose from Landry Jones on Saturday night.

Not even another 50-point performance or another late-game drive, the kind generally seen only in the backyard and young boys’ dreams, stirred up any visible feelings.

So, certainly Saturday’s 500 passing yards didn’t affect Jones to any degree. Of course not. But man, you just wish the Sooner quarterback would drop an “I told you so.”

Because he did.


And Oklahoma won. Again. This time it was a 51-48 overtime victory against Oklahoma State where he avenged and redeemed in the last home game of his career.

To the fans who bash his shoulder-shrug style and to the critics who have questioned whether he should have returned for a senior season at Oklahoma, Jones could have and should have done a double-tap to the chest and pointed guns to the sky. He deserved it.

It’s been two weeks in a row now that he’s bailed out a defense taking on water and saved the season for the Sooners.

Instead, after the game, Jones might have let a smile slip — although that couldn’t be confirmed either — and sounded more like Dr. Phil than a college quarterback.

“You can’t ride the wave,” Jones said. “Every person is different, and if you try to be someone you’re not, people won’t follow.”

Jones has always been cool, but he’s never been as hot as the past two weeks, a span where he’s thrown for 1,054 yards and nine touchdowns. And he’s rallied his team twice. For two wins. In the fourth quarter.

The Bedlam win puts the Sooners a win away from playing in another BCS bowl and leaves Jones as the Big 12’s all-time leading passer.

“What more do you want from the guy?” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops asked with a purpose after the game, seemingly expecting more questions about his quarterback.

“He was fabulous out there tonight.”

Because of it, Jones helped erase a painful performance against Oklahoma State last year when he fumbled and threw a pair of interceptions in a 44-10 loss. It allowed Jones to finish his home career with a “Did you see that?” kind of game.

“Last year wasn’t fun,” Jones said. “This one is the most special, for sure.”

Jones has never been one to be flowery with his words and certainly not his expressions, either. And he wasn’t Saturday evening in the first overtime game in the rivalry’s history.

“You always remember those games where you come from behind and get a victory,” Jones said.

Here’s what everyone saw Saturday:

* The Jalen Saunders 81-yard punt return that tied the game at 38-38 in the fourth quarter.

* The three Sooner receivers who had more than 100 yards — Saunders (162 yards, 10 catches), Justin Brown (146 yards, 15 catches) and Kenny Stills (103 yards, nine catches).

* Blake Bell’s fourth-down, 4-yard touchdown run with just four seconds left in regulation.

* The 20-minute celebration after Brennan Clay scored the game winner — an 18-yard scamper — as no one left the field and no one left the stadium.

But here’s what you should remember:

Down 45-38 with 6:18 left, Jones got the ball at his own 14-yard line. He completed 10-of-13 passes on the drive, leading the Sooners all the way to the OSU 4-yard line, setting up Bell’s late 4-yard TD.

Two runs later, the Sooners won and sent Jones out a winner, too.

“It’s one of the better ones, too,” Jones said. “This was more special because it was my last time to play here.”

But it should be more than that. Disparage the defenses OU has faced all you want, Jones still has had to complete the passes and direct the offense. Never an easy situation, whether it be at West Virginia, where Jones did that twice in the last five minutes a week ago.

And Jones did it again on Saturday in a situation where OU never led until Clay dove into the end zone in overtime.

OU was down 14-0 in the first half, 38-27 in the second half and then again in overtime on Saturday. That’s a lot to digest for any quarterback, much less one who gives off no vibe, either positive or negative, in every situation.

“It takes a special leader. People are seeing that in No. 12,” offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said of Jones. “That transcends through your offensive unit. It takes something special in the meeting room, inside the locker room. He’s been a rock.

“I don’t know if people understand. It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s not an easy process.”

It wasn’t even that easy against the rival Cowboys. Jones threw for 500 yards, but it came on a 46-of-71 passing effort. He threw one dreadful first-half interception and was hobbled after a big hit.

Then again, it never looks easy for Jones. His great is impressive, but his bad is miserable — like against Oklahoma State a year ago, and like it was against Kansas State this year, when he fumbled at his own 2-yard line.

“Me and coach Stoops have been through a lot,” Jones said. “Mostly good. Some bad. He’s always been a huge supporter of me.”

After the game, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops sprinted around the field by himself. He did about a half-dozen spins, wildly celebrating and looking for someone to hug.
He should have found Jones. It’s the Oklahoma quarterback who saved Stoops and his defense, which allowed 778 yards last week to West Virginia and 490 on Saturday.

“(Jones) carried us on his back,” Stoops said. “It’s been fun to watch.”

Sure has. Too bad we can’t get Jones to say so, too.