Justin K. Aller
Facing fourth and three, and with the game absolutely on the line, Landry Jones made possibly the biggest throw of his Sooner career. However, before doing so, he also made one of his biggest decisions on the playing field.
The call was supposed to be a fade to Kenny Stills in the back corner of the end zone. Instead, Jones made a call to Kenny Stills and then pulled off his first come from behind, game winning drive, in a Sooner uniform.
Jones sees WVU linebacker (#36), whom I believe is Shaq Petteway, lined too far inside. He should be outside of the hash to take away the slant but instead he is inside of it and leaves a lane wide open. Because of this, Jones calls out specifically to Kenny Stills to run a slant. If you watch the play, which I strongly encourage you to, Jones is masterful in conducting this entire comeback drive but shows the experience and leadership of a fifth year senior on this specific play.
The first thing to notice here is that at the snap everyone except for Petteway moves. Secondly, notice the cushion that Kenny Stills has. This is why a fade would have been a bad call. The underneath is wide open and the Sooners are going to capitalize in a very big way. On the other hand a fade would have given the corner inside coverage on Stills which would have put him in between Stills and the ball.
Despite the fact that Jones never once looks to his right West Virginia still has five defenders flow to that side to cover three Oklahoma receivers. Immediately Stills is open for the first down (this play took place on fourth down) but, because our man Petteway has yet to move more than a couple of inches on this play, it will also be open for a touchdown as well.
At this point, Petteway should have had to purchase a ticket because he absolutely had the best seat in the house to watch the game's most crucial play. Stills makes the catch on or near the goal line and at the very worst Oklahoma would have had a first and goal at the one inch line. Landry Jones makes a pretty nice throw here as well. A quick release was needed to make this play work.
Stills lands in the end zone, giving OU the 50-49 advantage, and there was absolutely nothing that West Virginia could have done about it. The Mountaineers were beaten at the snap because Jones saw the big gaping hole there in the defense. Credit to Jones for changing the play and, while we're at it, credit to Petteway for turning around to be able to watch it.