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Thursday, November 29, 2012
Ranking the top QB performances at OU

By Jake Trotter

NORMAN, Okla. -- The last two weeks, Landry Jones has delivered two of the best quarterback performance of the Bob Stoops era at Oklahoma, leading the Sooners to a pair of fourth-quarter, come-from-behind victories. Considering the QBs that have passed through Norman since Stoops’ arrival, that’s saying something. Two of them won Heismans. Another won a national title.

SoonerNation ranks the Top 10 quarterback performances of the Stoops era, factoring in the moment, the pressure and the opponent:

Landry Jones
Landry Jones threw for 500 yards and three touchdowns in his final home game as a Sooner.
1. Landry Jones at West Virginia, 2012 (OU, 50-49)
Stat line: 38-of-51, 554 yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT

Analysis: Not only did Jones set and tie all sorts of records, he became the first Stoops QB to lead the Sooners on a fourth-quarter, come-from-behind, game-winning TD drive. On top of that, Jones audibled to the winning TD pass to Kenny Stills.

2. Sam Bradford vs. No. 5 Texas, 2008 (Texas, 45-35)
Stat line: 28-of-39, 387 yards, 5 TDs, 2 INTs

Analysis: The Sooners lost, but this was still the best game of Bradford’s career. With the OU defense hemorrhaging in the second half, Bradford kept the Sooners in the game. Colt McCoy and Jordan Shipley just made a couple more plays.

3. Landry Jones vs. No. 22 Oklahoma State, 2012 (OU, 51-48)
Stat line: 46-of-71, 500 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT

Analysis: The only Stoops QB with a fourth-quarter, come-from-behind, game-winning TD drive delivered his second last weekend in Bedlam. Blake Bell scored the tying TD, but that drive was all Jones, who completed 10 passes on the 17-play drive that sent the game to overtime, where the Sooners prevailed.

4. Josh Heupel vs. No. 1 Nebraska, 2000 (OU, 31-14)
Stat line: 24-of-30, 300 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

Analysis: This was the win that changed the way the nation viewed OU football. Heupel was as big a reason as any for the victory. His 34-yard loft to Curtis Fagan that sparked the comeback in the second quarter might have been the Sooners’ most crucial completion in over a decade.

5. Sam Bradford at No. 11 Oklahoma State, 2008 (OU, 61-41)
Stat line: 30-of-44, 370 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs, 1 rushing TD (OU, 61-41)

Analysis: Because of how loaded the Big 12 South was, people forget how dangerous the Cowboys were in ’08. But playing with an injured hand that forced him to take every snap out of the shotgun, Bradford quarterbacked -- and cartwheeled -- the Sooners to the shootout victory that sent them to the Big 12 title, and ultimately BCS title game and Bradford to the Heisman.

6. Landry Jones at No. 10 Oklahoma State, 2010 (OU 47-41)
Stat line: 37-of-62, 468 yards, 4 TDs, 3 INTs

Analysis: This was the best game of Jones’ career until this month. Yes, Jones was picked off three times. But with the Big 12 South Division on the line, he delivered in the fourth quarter when it counted, tossing touchdown passes to Cam Kenney and James Hanna 29 seconds apart to stave off the Cowboys.

7. Jason White at No. 22 Texas A&M, 2004 (OU, 42-35)
Stat line: 19-of-35, 292, 5 TDs, 0 INTs

Analysis: The week before, OU rode Adrian Peterson to a narrow victory in Stillwater. In College Station, with the Aggies focused on swarming Peterson, the Sooners rode White’s arm. The 2003 Heisman winner threw three TDs in the second half, including the decisive 39-yarder to Mark Bradley with 6:43 left in the game.

8. Sam Bradford vs. No. 2 Texas Tech, 2008 (OU, 65-21)
Stat line: 14-of-19, 304 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs

Analysis: Against the second-ranked Red Raiders, Bradford was flawless along with the rest of his teammates as OU put Tech away early and led 42-7 at halftime. In the rout, Bradford broke White’s school record for TD passes in a season.

9. Jason White vs. No. 11 Texas, 2003 (OU, 65-13)
Stat line: 17-of-21, 290 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs

Analysis: White was as efficient as ever in this whitewash of the Longhorns. His second TD pass to Will People put OU up 34-13 in the second quarter, and effectively put Horns away. This proved to be the signature performance of White’s Heisman campaign.

10. Sam Bradford vs. Miami, 2007 (OU, 51-13)
Stat line: 19-of-25, 205 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INTs

Analysis: In his second career start, Bradford showed what was to come over the next two seasons. Against a decent Miami defense, Bradford threw two touchdowns to Malcolm Kelly in the first quarter, then found Kelly again early in the fourth as the Sooners pulled away.

Honorable mention:
11. Josh Heupel at No. 2 Kansas State (OU, 41-31)
Stat line: 29-of-37, 374 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT

12. Nate Hybl vs. No. 7 Washington State (Rose Bowl), 2002 (OU, 34-14)
Stat line: 19-of-29, 240 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs

13. Landry Jones vs. No. 19 Stanford (Sun Bowl), 2009 (OU, 31-27)
Stat line: 30-of-51, 418 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT

14. Landry Jones at No. 10 Kansas State, 2011 (OU, 58-17)
Stat line: 35-of-47, 505 yards, 5 TDs, 2 INTs

15. Josh Heupel vs. No. 1 Florida State (Orange Bowl), 2000 (OU, 13-2)
Stat line: 25-of-39, 214 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT