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October 9, 2012

HD: Landry Jones reinventing his game

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Landry Jones looks like a new man. After being the quarterback who gave away a victory to Kansas State, Jones looked like a quarterback we’ve rarely seen against Texas Tech in Lubbock.

Jones was composed, accurate, efficient and threw passes to seven different receivers against the Red Raiders.

Most of all, Jones wasn’t locked in on any one receiver, as he appeared to lock on to Kenny Stills during the early part of the season.

Josh Heupel and Jones made it a priority during the bye week to work on going through his throwing progressions. If the first man wasn’t open, move on to the second. If the second was covered, move on to the third.

And so on and so forth.

All of a sudden, OU fans weren’t looking at West Virginia and Baylor, covetingthe offenses they’ve been able to put together in 2012.

All of a sudden, Landry Jones looked like an All-Big 12 quarterback.

“It’s great. You just have to realize what kind of player you are. It always feels good to play great,” said Jones Monday afternoon. “There’s not much like it, especially after the way I played at Kansas State - just to come back and have the game that I had.”

This appears to be a step in the right direction for this Oklahoma offense as they get set to take on Texas in the Red River Rivalry this Saturday in Dallas. It’s a step that had Bob Stoops noticeably excited Monday.

It reminded Stoops of the old days.

“I can remember way back in the day, my first time with Mike Leach and he’s sitting there yelling at Josh (Heupel) about what coverage he saw and why he thought this guy was going to be open,” Stoops recalled. “Mike says, ‘No, no, no. If this guy’s open you throw it to him. If he isn’t open you throw it to this one. If he’s not open you throw it to the third one.’

“It’s right here and it’s that simple. You don’t sit there and try and make a guy get this many catches. It just doesn’t work.”

Heupel and Jones didn’t go back to the drawing board. This was more like a routine checkup that revealed some quarterback wear and tear.

It was a refresher course, and it paid dividends.

“We have playmakers all over the field and if you just get it in their hands, they’re going to do things down the field for you. Not necessarily forcing it down the field as much ... just really, if it’s not there downfield, check it down and let people run and make some plays.”

Oklahoma’s line also did a great job blocking the Texas Tech defensive front. Jones didn’t always need a lot of time, but he had it when he needed it.

Jones doesn’t just look like a new quarterback, he’s starting to feel like one too.

“I think this is the most in-rhythm that I felt in a long, long, long time around this place dating back to even last year,” said Jones. “I think what we did offensively was great and I think coach Heupel did a great job of developing a scheme and developing plays for us to get us in rhythm.”

Heupel and Jones were the duo of disgust for a lot of fans heading into Lubbock.

The gameplan, preparation and execution was beyond impressive, outside of a slow and sluggish fourth quarter.

Jones turned heads regardless. Now he’s ready to get out there again as he tries to make another leap forward.

We saw a different Landry Jones last week.

Now he’s ready to see how much more he can impress this week in Dallas.

“You still continue to learn , you still see that you can make plays that maybe you didn’t’ think you could make and just in the heat of battle just what type of person you are,” Jones said. “I think that’s what’s great about sports and what’s great about football is you can’t really hide in the heat of things. You’re always learning. You’re always sharpening yourself.”



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