QB Jones and No. 1 Sooners beat FSU 23-13

By Ralph D. Russo

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Sept. 17 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Landry Jones' pass seemed like it would never come down.

Kenny Stills waited in the end zone for what must have felt like an eternity, then reached high for a touchdown that gave No. 1 Oklahoma the type of rugged road victory that teams need to win national championships.

Stills, playing for the first time this season after being suspended for the opener because of an offseason DUI arrest, grabbed a 37-yard scoring pass midway through the fourth quarter for the tiebreaking score, and Oklahoma's defense made the lead stand as the Sooners beat No. 5 Florida State 23-13 on Saturday night.

"We won ugly, but that's OK," said Jones, who came in 3-5 as a starter the past two seasons in true road games.

Javon Harris picked off two passes for the Sooners (2-0), who forced three turnovers and harassed both Florida State quarterbacks all night.

The Seminoles (2-1) played the final 20 minutes without starting quarterback E.J. Manuel, who left in the third with a left shoulder injury.

Backup Clint Trickett kept the Seminoles in it. He hooked up with freshman Rashad Greene for a 56-yard touchdown on a third-and-28 with 9:32 left in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 13.

But on the next possession, Jones went deep down the sideline to the 6-foot-1 Stills, who easily outleaped the 5-8 Greg Reid for the touchdown.

Trickett couldn't respond. On the next drive, he had a pass tipped at the line by Ronnell Lewis, and Harris came up with his second interception near midfield. Just like the first pick, Oklahoma turned it into a field goal, this one from 31 yards out by Jimmy Stevens.

"All of a sudden the crowd's on you, they tie it up at home," said OU coach Bob Stoops, who shared a hug with his brother, Mark, the Florida State defensive coordinator, after the game. "We come back ... with the big drive, defense gets the turnover, we eat up the clock and get a field goal. I'm really proud of 'em. Our kids really answered the bell when they had to."

Jones finished 18 for 27 for 199 yards with two interceptions, though he did become the school's career passing leader, moving past Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford.

"All great games come down to two or three plays," second-year Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. "They made plays; we didn't."

A rematch of a lopsided 47-17 Oklahoma victory in Norman last season, this was more reminiscent of the most important game these two heavyweight programs have played. The Sooners won their last national championship in 2000 by beating the Seminoles 13-2 in the Orange Bowl.

The Sooners scored a touchdown on their first possession and one of the most potent offenses in the country didn't find the end zone again until the fourth quarter. Florida State looked as if it would never get there.

Then Greene's touchdown sent most of the record crowd of 84,392 at Doak Campbell Stadium into hysterics. Like Stills, he went high in traffic to come down with Trickett's pass then broke free from the pack and raced for the score.

"It was just loud, I couldn't hear anything, especially down there when we were in their student section," Jones said. "I called some plays six or seven times, and I still don't think the guys heard me."

Florida State showed it's worthy of again being considered a national title contender, a title the Seminoles held for 14 years under Hall of Fame coach Bobby Bowden, but relinquished in the 2000s.

Fisher's Seminoles aren't quite all the way back, but they are getting there.

Trickett, who was sacked five times, was 7 for 15 for 134 yards for Florida State, which had no running game beyond Manuel's 49 yards.

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