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Stoops Says Jones Received Too Much Blame

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Sooner coach says Landry Jones isn't to blame for OU's late-season struggles in 2011. Sooner coach says Landry Jones isn't to blame for OU's late-season struggles in 2011.

Quarterback Landry Jones took a lot of criticism last season for how Oklahoma's offense lagged after losing receiver Ryan Broyles to an injury. But as far as Bob Stoops is concerned, he's pointing the finger at everyone except his senior quarterback.

When asked at Monday's Big 12 Media Day what Jones was asked to do during the offseason to improve, Stoops answer was simple – nothing.

"Everybody (said), ‘Oh, Landry struggled,'" Stoops said. "No, he didn't — the offense struggled. You had more dropped passes in the last three games, I couldn't even keep track of them. (We) didn't run the football as effectively as we needed to at all. All of that goes together. To me, it's more of an issue of the offense and the offense around him than it is him."

Quarterbacks are typically lighting rods for criticism, as they make an easy target, especially in Jones' case, because after Broyles' injury Jones threw zero touchdown passes and six interceptions in OU's last four games.

But Stoops stressed does not deserve so much of the blame from the Sooners' late-season struggles in 2011.

The Sooners are again a massive favorite to win the Big 12 Conference but Stoops said if that is to happen it's the 10 men on the field with Jones who have to step up and deliver.

Despite his faith in Jones, Stoops did indicate that backup quarterback Blake Bell will continue to play an integral role in the Sooners' attack.

In 2011, Bell had 13 rushing touchdowns – the most ever by an OU freshman quarterback – and 26 of his 44 rushes went for a first down or touchdown.

"It's very much the same as it has been," Stoops said. "Blake's an excellent athlete, continues to do well. He throws the ball well. But we're not going to alternate quarterbacks. It'll be pretty much the same ... red zone and short yardage, those situations."

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