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November 18, 2012

Jones engineers game-winning drive vs. Mountaineers

MORGANTOWN, W.V. — Oklahoma’s defense laid an egg, but OU quarterback Landry Jones picked it up and made an omelet.

Jones was the difference in the 13th-ranked Sooners’ 50-49 victory over West Virginia on Saturday night at Milan Puskar Stadium.

Jones threw for a career and school record 554 yards and six touchdowns, including a 5-yard slant to Kenny Stills with 24 seconds left to give the Sooners the last lead in a game where the lead changed hands four times in the final 7 minutes.

“That was the kind of game, as a player, that you’re always going to remember when you come out on the right side of it,” Jones said. “… It was one of those times where the game was on the line and we were able to come through.”

It was Jones who engineered the 6-play, 54-yard drive that ended with the touchdown pass to Stills. The most important part of the drive was that OU managed to eat up 2 minutes, 17 seconds off the clock, only leaving the Mountaineers 24 seconds to answer.

A strong argument could be made that Jones wasn’t even the best player on the field Saturday.

West Virginia (5-5, 2-5 Big 12) racked up 778 yards of total offense, nearly 150 more than OU had ever allowed in a game. Wide receiver/running back Tavon Austin rushed for 344 yards and two touchdowns, had four catches for 82 yards and eight kickoff returns for 146 yards. His 572 all-purpose yards were 6 yards short of the all-time FBS record. The Sooners had no answer for him.

Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops knew Austin was a great receiver. He had 96 catches coming into the game. However, West Virginia used him almost exclusively as a running back. OU never adjusted.

“That might be the best performance I’ve ever seen. I’ve never seen a guy that fast, that quick and that elusive in space like that,” he said.

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