John Klein: OU's Jones in the midst of greatness
BY JOHN KLEIN Senior Sports Columnist
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
11/06/12 at 5:26 AM
Go to John Klein's Blog
NORMAN - Landry Jones may be the least appreciated successful quarterback in Oklahoma football history.
Some say OU quarterbacks are measured by championships.
However, if measured in yards, touchdowns, starts and stats, Jones will compare favorably with just about any OU quarterback.
It might be time to appreciate what Oklahoma has because soon he will be off to the NFL.
Plus, there has never been a better time to appreciate what an exceptional player Jones has become during his four years.
"It has been some of the better football we've been playing," said Jones.
It could be argued that the past five games, since the loss to Kansas State, has been perhaps his best streak of games in his career.
"He's had some strings of games he played really well," said Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops. "He's had some others when he played well, too."
However, as Jones heads into his final handful of games, some may need to be reminded of just how good he has been for the Sooners.
Jones has won more games (35) than any OU quarterback in history.
"That's saying plenty because we've had some success around here," said Stoops.
Jones also has more passing yards, touchdown passes, total offense, starts, passing attempts, passing completions, 300-yard passing games and 400-yard passing games than any quarterback in OU history.
Jones is fifth on the all-time list of passing yards in NCAA history with 14,792 and is just 239 yards from moving into fourth ahead of former BYU star Ty Detmer.
And, he seems to be hitting his peak in the last half of his last season in Norman.
"The last four or five games we've been in a good rhythm," said Jones. "Guys have stepped up and made plays."
He was deadly accurate in a 35-20 win at Iowa State Saturday, throwing for more than 400 yards in a game for the 10th time in his career.
Before Jones, OU had just four 400-yard passing games in history.
"Landry just threw some great, great passes in some tight spots," said Stoops.
He's also incredibly durable. Jones has never missed a start since he was called upon to replace the injured Sam Bradford.
"It is toughness," said Stoops. "He is a big strong guy.
"Also, you always need some good fortune. He's had that. Sam was as tough as they come but he did not have the good fortune."
Sometimes you don't know what you've got until it is gone.
In the case of Jones, it may have been a case of bad timing. During many eras, he would have been all-conference and perhaps all-American.
But, throughout his career, the Big 12 has been absolutely loaded from Colt McCoy to Brandon Weeden, Robert Griffin III and Ryan Tannehill.
Plus, as the quarterback that followed Bradford, there were the inevitable comparisons to Bradford, arguably the best pure quarterback in Oklahoma history. So, the standards for comparison have always been very high for Jones.
Many believed this would be Jones' year to star in the league.
Instead, West Virginia's Geno Smith got off to a great start and was the early Heisman Trophy leader. Then, as Kansas State continued to win weekly, KSU's Collin Klein took the spotlight and is not only the anticipated all-Big 12 quarterback but the leading candidate for the Heisman, as well.
Still, for five games, including a loss to Notre Dame, Jones has been very steady and often spectacular.
In those five games, Jones has completed 133 passes out of 202 attempts. He's thrown for 1,641 yards.
For those who know best, and that would certainly include Stoops, Jones has often been spectacular.
"Landry Jones had another exceptional day," said Stoops in looking back at Saturday's game in Ames.
Jones, as any quarterback, gets too much credit and/or blame.
Yes, he's had some games that most would rather forget. However, the good far outweighs the bad in what has been a rather spectacular career. And, he's soaring in his final few games.
"We've just cut loose and having some fun," said Jones. "There's no magic potion."