Jones throws 4 TD passes to lift No. 22 Oklahoma over K-State

NORMAN, Okla. — Landry Jones learned earlier in the week that Sam Bradford wouldn’t be returning this season, leaving Jones as the full-time, rather than fill-in, starting quarterback for No. 22 Oklahoma.

His comfort level is increasing with every start, and that’s one reason Oklahoma’s offense is beginning to catch up to its defense. In his fifth start, the redshirt freshman completed 26 of 37 passes for 294 yards and four touchdowns in the Sooners’ 42-30 victory over Kansas State on Saturday night.

“The most exciting part of tonight was when the offense answered back when it had to,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. “… It’s a sign we’re becoming a more complete team.”

Running back DeMarco Murray returned from a one-game absence due to an ankle injury and scored three touchdowns for Oklahoma (5-3, 3-1 Big 12). The Sooners jumped ahead 21-0 and hung on while Kansas State (5-4, 3-2) twice closed to within five points in the second half.

In the fourth quarter, Jones went 10 of 10 passing while Murray scored twice, on a 6-yard reception and a 3-yard run, helping the Sooners hold their lead.

“Every game you just have to keep getting better,” Jones said. “And I’m getting better. I’m seeing the stuff easier out on the field and seeing the coverages more.”

Bradford, who won the Heisman Trophy last season, announced last Sunday he would undergo season-ending surgery and likely enter the NFL draft. Jones’ teammates said they have confidence in his ability to lead the Sooners the rest of the season.

“Landry is growing each week,” Murray said. “He’s a great player and a great competitor. He knows the job is his now.”

Oklahoma’s defense, so strong in a close loss to No. 3 Texas and in a rout of then-No. 24 Kansas, came through in the final minutes against the Wildcats. The Sooners stopped Kansas State on downs at the K-State 41 with 4:10 left and Quinton Carter intercepted a pass from Grant Gregory at the Oklahoma 2 with 42 seconds left.

The Wildcats’ Brandon Banks returned a fourth-quarter kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, the fifth time he’s scored on a kickoff return in his career and the fourth time this season — both Big 12 records. He also caught nine passes for 156 yards.

“Brandon played well in a lot of different ways,” Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said. “…You begin to expect him to do some things with kickoff returns. But I thought he went up and competed well and made some catches in coverage.”

Kansas State remained atop the conference’s North Division despite the loss.

DeJuan Miller, who had 11 catches all season entering the game, led the Sooners with nine for 94 yards, while Ryan Broyles had eight for 91 yards and two touchdowns. Oklahoma has won 28 straight home games, the longest active streak in the Bowl Subdivision.

Kansas State hasn’t won at Oklahoma since 1997.

“A loss is a loss,” Snyder said. “I think the fact the youngsters did come back and made the effort and got back in the ballgame, I think that is a positive.

“You have got to be proud of the fact that they didn’t give up, which I am.”

Early on, it looked as if the Sooners would run away from the Wildcats, as Oklahoma needed just four plays to score on each of its first two possessions. Jones hit Broyles for a 15-yard touchdown 73 seconds into the game, and his 23-yard scoring pass to Miller made it 14-0. Oklahoma scored again on its next possession, as Jones and Broyles connected on a 2-yard touchdown pass with 4:40 still left in the first quarter.

Keithen Valentine’s 2-yard touchdown run made it 21-6 in the second quarter, but Oklahoma’s Adrian Taylor blocked the extra-point kick. A 44-yard run by Oklahoma’s Chris Brown to the Kansas State 5 set up a 1-yard scoring run by Murray.

Valentine’s 14-yard touchdown run on a fourth-and-1 play and a 2-point conversion early in the third quarter made it 28-17. After Oklahoma went 3-and-out, the Wildcats went on a 75-yard touchdown drive, highlighted by a 41-yard halfback pass from Daniel Thomas to Banks. Oklahoma’s Auston English blocked the attempt, leaving the Sooners up 28-23.

A holding penalty wiped out a 38-yard touchdown pass from Jones to Broyles, and a subsequent unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Broyles gave Oklahoma a first-and-45 late in the third quarter, but the Sooners picked up the first down, thanks to an 18-yard reception by Murray and a 25-yard catch-and-run by Broyles.

Murray closed the drive with his 6-yard touchdown catch, but Banks returned the ensuing kickoff for a score, making it 35-30 with 11:18 left.

Thomas, who entered the game as the Big 12’s leading rusher, carried 16 times for 88 yards. Gregory completed 19 of 30 passes for 174 yards.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Lake Stevens’ David Brown snags a game-sealing interception in the fourth quarter of the 4A semifinal against Graham-Kapowsin on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Coaches weigh in on Lake Stevens vs. Graham-Kapowsin title game

Three coaches from Snohomish County and one from Pierce County give their perspectives on the teams.

A gang of Lake Stevens Vikings take down the ball carrier during the 4A semifinal against Graham-Kapowsin on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Looking back at the Lake Stevens vs. G-K state playoff rivalry

The Class 4A powers are set to face for the third straight postseason and sixth time since 2015.

X
Prep roundup for Friday, Dec. 1

Prep results for Friday, Dec. 1: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: Due to a… Continue reading

Lake Stevens’ Jaxson Lewis (8) runs with the ball during a Class 4A state semifinal game between Lake Stevens and Kamiakan at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. Lake Stevens won, 48-7. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Another state title well within reach for surging Lake Stevens

The Vikings head into Saturday’s championship clash riding a string of dominant performances.

Graham-Kapowsin’s Daveon Superales keeps the ball on a quarterback run during the 4A semifinal against Lake Stevens on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
4A state championship capsule: Lake Stevens vs. Graham-Kapowsin

A by-the-numbers look at Saturday’s state title game, plus game picks from our experts and readers.

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Brandin Cooks (3) catches a pass for a first down as Seattle Seahawks safety Jamal Adams (33) defends in the first half of Thursday’s game in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)
Grading the Seahawks in their 41-35 loss to the Cowboys

Seattle gives a game effort on the road against a strong Dallas team, but falters at the end.

Kamiak’s Bella Hasan finishes at the rim with a driving layup against Stanwood on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, at Stanwood High School in Stanwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
GALLERY: Hasan, Anderson power Kamiak girls past Stanwood

The duo combine for 50 points in a 71-49 victory of the Knights.

X
Prep roundup for Thursday, Nov. 30

Prep results for Thursday, Nov. 30: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Granite Falls senior James Porter braces for a hit after making a catch against Kings on Friday, Oct. 19, 2023, at Granite Falls High School in Granite Falls, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Locals named to All-Emerald Sound Conference teams

Student-athletes honored from Granite Falls, King’s and Sultan.

Washington safety Makell Esteen (24) celebrates making an interception against Washington State with cornerback Jabbar Muhammad (1) during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
UW, Oregon meet with Pac-12 title, potential CFP spot on the line

The final season of the Pac-12 is set to close with a massive rivalry clash.

X
Prep roundup for Wednesday, Nov. 29

Prep roundup for Wednesday, Nov. 29: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Abraham Lucas (72) takes his stance during an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
Seahawks O-line could stabilize with possible return of Lucas

The Archbishop Murphy product hasn’t played since Week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.