Originally posted on Rumors and Rants  |  Last updated 9/25/12

After the Oklahoma Sooners’ 24-19 defeat to Kansas State on Saturday, I got to briefly revel in the awesomeness that is Collin Klein before finding myself in the position of defending OU quarterback Landry Jones. Midwest Sports Fans’ Jerod Morris took himself a road trip to Norman to watch the game and mentioned how some OU fans were calling for four-year starting senior Jones to be benched.

One can understand the fans’ frustration, though it’s a little extreme since losing to Bill Snyder and The Power That Is Collin Klein is, some might say, inevitable. But calling for Jones’ benching in favor of back up Blake Bell? That’s more than a little extreme.

Against Kansas State, Jones was 28 for 43 passing for 298 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also averaged 6.9 yards per attempt. Definitely not a bad game, for most quarterbacks, but these numbers were more or less on average with Jones’ career too. It was a bad game to be sure, but there is no statistical proof that Jones is playing any worse than years past. You know, the years that made him a Heisman candidate.

In 2012, Jones is averaging 7.2 yards per attempt and is completing 63.6 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and two interceptions. Both the yards per attempt and completion percentages are almost exactly matching his stats from the Kansas State game. Granted, he’s only three games into the season, but still the Kansas State game was hardly an anomaly, and that includes a 69-13 win over Florida A&M.

The 2011 season is what got Jones Heisman hype heading into this year in the first place, though it was the second of his back to back 4,000+ passing yard seasons. He averaged 7.9 yards per attempt, just slightly more than this year, and completed 63.2 percent of his passes, which is basically the same as this year. He also threw more interceptions (15) than games played (13), so it isn’t like he doesn’t have a small case of the turnover bug. A 29/15 touchdown to interception ratio isn’t that great anyway.

In Jones’ sophomore season (2010), he set career highs in completions (405), attempts (617), yards (4,718), and touchdowns (38). 2010 is when Jones looked very much to not just be the quarterback who followed Sam Bradford, but succeed him in the pantheon of great Sooners quarterbacks. However, he averaged 7.6 yards per attempt that year, which is actually a little less than his 2011 average and only slightly more than his 2012 average.

So why the decline in regular production from 2010 to 2012? Easy. DeMarco Murray was the starting running back in 2010. Murray scored 15 touchdowns and ran for 1,218 yards. The next season saw Dominique Whaley and Roy Finch share carries, but combined they carried far less than Murray did in 2010 despite running for essentially the same amount of combined yards. Whaley is back in 2012, but is splitting carries with junior Damien Williams.

However, Jones was the focus of the offense in 2011 and teams knew it. The Sooners were no longer a running team, or really even a balanced team offensively. They were pass-first in the offense-happy Big XII. That year was also Jones’ first without former offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, who is now the head coach at Indiana. His replacement, former OU passer Josh Heupel, understands Wilson’s system, but while the statistical dropoff has only been slight, it’s still noticeable enough.

With Landry Jones as the focus of Oklahoma’s offense the last two years, and with teams knowing the Sooners are going to live and die with his arm, Jones has still produced pretty darn well. More to the point, exactly who would be the go-to guy on Oklahoma’s offense should Jones be benched? Blake Bell seems physically talented, but he has thrown all of nine passes in his college career. He and Jones spent the offseason competing for the starting job (at least nominally) and head coach Bob Stoops has made it clear that Bell didn’t do anything to push Jones for the job.

While Jones’ career stats don’t match up well with Sam Bradford’s, they are comparable to Josh Heupel and Jason White’s, though White threw for more touchdowns his final two seasons. And White had Adrian freaking Peterson in the backfield.

So calm the f**k down, Oklahoma fans. Benching a proven producer will land you in 5-7 or 4-8 rebuilding territory, and you obviously don’t want that. Besides, you’d probably just demand that Bob Stoops be fired too even though he’s solely responsible for saving Oklahoma football.


What a time to be Tom Herman!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Seahawks, Vikings, Colts to be ‘players’ at trade deadline

Former NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer battling Alzheimer’s disease

Jamaal Charles (knee) to miss Sunday’s game against Colts

Report: C.J. Anderson will be in recovery for ‘months’

Indians' Roberto Perez reveals battle with Bell's palsy


76ers apologize for pulling singer from national anthem

Cubs fans line up outside bar at 5:30 am before Game 3

Sheldon Adelson threatens to walk away from Raiders stadium deal

NCAA set to distribute some revenue based on academic performance

Tom Brady nixes a future in coaching, blames lack of patience

Report: NFL interviewed Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott about domestic incident

30 athletes (and friends) who've done Halloween costumes right

CFB Crash Course Week 9: The underachievers already out of playoff contention

College Football Playoff set-up could keep best teams out of title contention

Box Score 10/28: London, Wrigley and the Cell

Four NBA teams that could surprise this season

NHL in three players: Carey Price is the MVP of sports

Rex Ryan: Pats’ violation of unwritten rule led to skirmish

LeBron doesn’t want Thompson bringing Khloe around Cavs?

NFL ratings decline is also hurting the restaurant business

WATCH: Breaking down the current state of the 76ers

Five things we have learned thus far in the World Series

Can Hell in a Cell still bring the heat?

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

CFB Crash Course Week 9: The underachievers already out of playoff contention

College Football Playoff set-up could keep best teams out of title contention

WATCH: Breaking down the current state of the 76ers

Five things we have learned thus far in the World Series

Can Hell in a Cell still bring the heat?

We’re doing the Bountygate thing again

Significant firsts for women's wrestling in WWE at 'Hell in a Cell'

One Gotta Go: Pac-12 players and coaches vs. the worst pickup ballers

A look back at 10 of the best-looking World Series

25 questions heading into the 2016-17 NBA season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker