Last weekend’s defeat at Texas A&M ran the Oklahoma Sooners’ record with Landry Jones at quarterback to 14-5 in the last two seasons. That mark falls to 14-7 counting games in which Jones played at least a half in relief of Sam Bradford in 2009.
That may work at your North Carolina States or your UCLAs, but it won’t cut it for the Crimson and Cream.
In the eyes of OU fans, Jones’ greatest sin is that he’s not Bradford. Jones’ second-biggest blemish after the latest loss: the utter lack of confidence he inspires outside the friendly confines of Owen Field.
*Statistics courtesy of cfbstats.com
In fairness to the Jones, he’s not alone among the Sooners who are struggling away from home. You’d swear that you were watching a different team when OU isn’t in Norman.
Clearly, head coach Bob Stoops has plenty to clean up. However, if he doesn’t feel that he can trust the guy under center when the Sooners go on the road, that has to be job one.
Realistically, unless things change in the Sooners’ last three regular season games, the ‘Stache is likely facing a quarterback derby in the offseason.
That’s bound to make a certain faction of Sooner Nation’s mouthiest critics happy. Even if OU ends up winning the Big 12 this year, I bet you’d find decent support among fans for making Jones audition for his job in the offseason.
Of course, Cletus Six-Pack’s opinion means a little less than nothing to the Head Sooner in Charge. Normally, I’d say that bodes well for Jones. However, a closer look at the signposts on the road to 2011 in Norman suggest otherwise.
Supposedly, Stoops wants to incorporate the zone-read option into Oklahoma’s attack. Looking at the quarterbacks in the Sooner stable, it certainly seems the OU offense is moving that direction:
- sophomore Drew Allen has already showed off his wheels on a touchdown run in garbage time this year;
- Blake Bell, currently in the middle of his redshirt year, was thought to be the best dual-threat quarterback in the 2010 recruiting crop; and
- OU commitment Kendal Thompson is drawing rave reviews for his running and throwing as a prep signal caller.
While I’m sure Jones is a hell of an athlete in his own right, we’ve all seen him play. Mobility is not his strong suit.
If Stoops decides to go the way of the run after this year, the writing will show up on the wall pretty quickly.
Oklahoma still could play as many as five more games this season, so ‘Stache still has time to make a case that he’s the future. But that time could be running short.