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Landry Jones Gives Sooners Offense Best Chance To Succeed

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NORMAN, Oklahoma -

For four seasons now, Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones has been dividing the OU fan base with his sometimes great, sometimes questionable, always inconsistent play.

If you haven't figured it out yet, Jones is not the second coming of Joe Montana, or Sam Bradford for that matter, and expectations for him to be have always been unfair and unrealistic.

That being said, Jones' play Saturday in the Sooners' 24-19 loss to Kansas State was inexcusable. A fifth-year senior should have a better sense of ball security, and make better decisions than the ones Jones made Saturday night. If OU hopes to have any semblance of a successful season in 2012 (and yes, OU fans, that is still possible), Jones has to play a lot better.

Jones isn't ignorant of that fact, taking responsibility for the loss and talking about his play through the first three games with a tone of disgust rarely heard from him.

"I just feel like I'm underachieving in that area," Jones said Monday. "For this offense to go, I have to get a lot better, there's no doubt about that.

"I expect a lot out of myself. At the end of the day, whenever things don't go your way, it's one of those deals where you learn from it and then put it behind you."

Jones knows the season isn't over and talked a lot of how a one-loss team often finds their way into the national championship game. He hasn't given up on the season, and neither should OU fans.

However, based on the cries of outrage all over the state, that's exactly what OU fans want to do, and that makes absolutely no sense.

Blake Bell will be a good quarterback for the Sooners in the future, but there's a reason he doesn't throw out of the Belldozer package. He's not ready for that just yet. If he were, coaches would have inserted that wrinkle into the package by now.

When asked if Jones' mistakes would eventually lead to a quarterback change, OU head coach Bob Stoops answered emphatically, "No."

If Stoops were to replace Jones with Bell as the starting quarterback, he would basically be giving up on the 2012 season. Fans begging for Bell to get some experience before he's the full-time starter in 2013 are doing the exact same thing.

Trust me, Stoops would rather die than lay down and give up on a season, especially just three games into one.

Are fans delusional enough to think a quarterback whose only experience throwing the football in college came against Florida A&M in the fourth quarter gives OU a better chance to win than a quarterback who is in his fourth year starting? Apparently so.

Plus, it's not like Bell is immune from the poor offensive performance on Saturday. His fumble on the one-yard line cost the Sooners an all but certain touchdown. The Sooners lost by five. You do the math. You could even argue Bell's fumble was just as costly as the fumble Jones had.

Like it or not, Jones gives the Sooners the best chance to win from the quarterback position. Now, what that says about the team as a whole, is another matter. But that's not the issue here.

Jones isn't giving up on the team or the season, and Stoops isn't giving up on his quarterback. Whatever it takes, fans, you better get used to seeing No. 12 on the field for the rest of the season.

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