Jones’ 3 TDs lift Oklahoma past Idaho State 64-0
NORMAN, Okla. (AP)—Landry Jones did his best Sam Bradford impression to lead No. 13 Oklahoma to a blowout win in the freshman’s first start as the Sooners’ quarterback.
Jones, replacing the injured Bradford, threw for 286 yards and three touchdowns—all to Ryan Broyles—on Saturday night as No. 13 Oklahoma routed Idaho State 64-0 and bounced back from a season-opening loss to BYU.
It was the second straight season Oklahoma (1-1) beat up on a Football Championship Series opponent in their home opener. Last year, the Sooners routed Chattanooga 57-2, and Idaho State (0-2) provided about as much of a challenge. The Bengals of the Big Sky Conference had minus-2 yards of offense in the first half and 44 for the game, including minus-22 yards rushing.
“I understand we’re going to see more difficult and tougher opponents moving forward, but I still was pleased with our basic, disciplined fundamentals and not having penalties,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. “We needed to improve on it, regardless of who we were playing.”
About the only drama after halftime was whether Oklahoma would record its first shutout since blanking Middle Tennessee in a 59-0 romp on Sept. 23, 2006. Oklahoma extended its home winning streak to 25 games, matching the school record that ended in the 1953 season opener. The Sooners will host Tulsa next Saturday.
“Their guys are pretty quick,” Idaho State coach Brian Janssen said. “You make a mistake, you get burned by it. Our guys didn’t quit. I’m proud of them.
“I felt good for BYU last week, but bad for us because they stirred up a hornet’s nest.”
Jones came in against Brigham Young after Bradford went down with a sprained AC joint in his right (throwing) shoulder late in the first half of the 14-13 loss. Bradford will be out for two to four weeks. The Sooners also learned on Tuesday that second-team All-America tight end Jermaine Gresham was lost for the season because of cartilage damage in his right knee.
With a week to prepare, Jones did his best Bradford imitation, completing 18 of 32 passes with one interception despite rain falling most of the game. Oklahoma continued to run its no-huddle offense, albeit with a reworked line after that unit committed nine penalties against BYU.
“I thought I did pretty well,” Jones said. “I came out a little slow in the third quarter, but I felt like I played pretty good tonight.
“I felt a little bit more confident. I wasn’t as nervous. I kind of had a game underneath me already. It was a little different, but not much. Obviously the outcome I liked a lot better.”
Jones completed his first pass as a starter, a swing toss that Broyles took 34 yards. The Sooners eventually had a first down on the Idaho State 2, but the Bengals stopped Oklahoma on five plays, stuffing a quarterback sneak on a fourth-and-inches.
The Sooners quickly forced a punt, and after taking over at the Idaho State 24, Jones connected with Broyles for a touchdown on the first play. Later in the first quarter, Gerald McCoy hit Idaho State quarterback Kyle Blum, forcing a fumble that defensive end Frank Alexander returned 3 yards for another Oklahoma touchdown, making it 14-0.
Jones subsequently hit Broyles on scoring passes of 51 and 11 yards, the latter leading to chants of “Landry” by the crowd at Owen Field.
“Landry is a great player,” said Broyles, who had seven catches for 155 yards. “We all have confidence in him and he had confidence in himself.”
Chris Brown and DeMarco Murray later added touchdown runs, pushing Oklahoma’s halftime lead to 41-0, and Murray scored again early in the second half. He finished with 101 yards on 12 carries.
Oklahoma freshman Ronnell Lewis tackled Clint Knickrehm in the end zone for a safety 27 seconds into the fourth quarter and freshmen Jonathan Miller and Jermie Calhoun subsequently both recorded their first career touchdowns before Jones exited with 6 minutes left.
Idaho State was coming off a 50-3 loss at Arizona State in which it managed just 37 yards of offense. Idaho State has lost 17 straight road games dating to the 2006 season, the Bengals’ longest road losing streak ever. The Bengals, who were 1-11 last season, fell to 0-7 all-time against Football Bowl Subdivision opponents.
Idaho State didn’t cross midfield until 9:18 remained in the third quarter and didn’t drive past the Oklahoma 49.