In the weeks leading up to the AT&T Cotton Bowl, SoonerNation will take a look back at how the Sooners performed position by position and give each group a grade based on that performance. Today, we look at the quarterback position:
Highlights: In hard-fought wins over West Virginia and Oklahoma State, Landry Jones was never better. He threw for 500 yards in both games, and led the Sooners on come-from-behind, fourth-quarter touchdown drives. The TD pass in the final seconds to Kenny Stills -- in which Jones called an audible from a fade to a slant -- proved to be the game-winner over the Mountaineers. The following week, Jones quarterbacked the Sooners to another fourth-quarter touchdown drive to send Bedlam to overtime, and OU prevailed. Belldozer QB Blake Bell also had a hand in the comeback, powering through the OSU defensive front for the tying TD on fourth down with just a couple of seconds remaining.
Lowlights: Some OU fans were calling for Jones to be benched after the Kansas State loss. Jones’ two turnovers were turned into Kansas State points, including a fumble recovered in the end zone for a K-State TD. Bell also struggled, fumbling away a golden scoring opportunity inside the Wildcats’ 5-yard line.
Surprises: Maybe the biggest surprise was how much the Sooners relied on Jones’ arm late in the season. With Damien Williams, Brennan Clay and Dominique Whaley, OU was expected to be more balanced. Instead, the Sooners went to a four-wide set midseason and never looked back once Jones started catching fire.
Grade: A-. Take out the Kansas State performance, and Jones has produced one of the greatest seasons by a QB in OU history. Alas, that performance can’t be ignored. Still, Jones is finishing his OU career playing his best ball yet.