Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma Sooners Defeat Connecticut Huskies 48-20

The Oklahoma Sooners finally get the BCS monkey off their back, defeating the UConn Huskies 48-20 on Saturday night in the 40th annual Fiesta Bowl.

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Sooners' Broyles, Kenney Help QB Jones Shine In Fiesta Bowl Win

     GLENDALE -- Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones broke his own Sooners bowl-game passing yards record with 429 in Saturday's Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium.

But Jones' heroics and numbers wouldn't have been possible if not for two of his receivers, Ryan Broyles and Cameron Kenney

The two combined for 20 catches for 324 yards and a touchdown each as Oklahoma racked up the yards and points in its 48-20 win over Connecticut. Broyles, a junior from right in the heart of Sooner Country in Norman, Okla., caught 13 balls for 170 yards. Kenney, a senior, came up with career highs in catches (seven) and yards (154). 

"Coach [Bob Stoops] just put us in a great position," Kenney said. "Play calls were excellent. Landry just continues to get better and better. He's having the confidence in us to make the plays whenever we need them on crucial downs. Just a good opportunity for us to go out there and execute them when we need to."

"Ditto," Broyles, a man of a few less words, said.

The Sooners couldn't have drawn it up any better, especially with co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel (who won a national title with OU in his QB days) calling plays for the first time. Broyles was a magician in the slot, taking advantage of the open space he was given and hurting the Huskies over the middle. Kenney was the downfield threat, hauling in a 59-yard pass and running for his touchdown.

"It was in the air for a long time, I had a lot to think about," Kenney said of the TD. "I just knew I had to catch it and run."

"Those guys do a great job of getting separation," Heupel said. "Am I surprised that we were able to do some of the things we were? Yes, just because I really thought they [the Huskies] were very sound, very good on the defensive side of the ball."

Not nearly good enough. The Sooners put on a clinic. Jones was on target for the most part, receivers got open, the offensive line didn't allow a sack and DeMarco Murray rushed for 101 yards.

Broyles is Jones' prime target, a veteran with 13 100-yard games in his past 17. Kenney, listed as a backup on the depth chart, had a night to remember.

"Through the last half of the season, he has made some huge plays for us, and he did again [Saturday]," Stoops said.

Broyles (in photo below) was happy to help the Sooners break a five-game losing streak in BCS bowl games, two of those in Glendale. He said preparation was the key. The Sooners looked very prepared and in a rhythm on offense.

"We've been through a lot this year," Broyles said. "We've been preparing for this game for a whole month. Guys came out ready to play.

"I feel like our guys deserved it." 

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Landry Jones Leads Oklahoma To Fiesta Bowl Win With 429 Yard Show

Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Landry Jones was named the Offensive Most Valuable Player for the 2011 Fiesta Bowl. There really wasn't any doubt about that award going to Jones as he posted a school bowl record 429 yards passing. 

"Connecticut's a great defense, great team. We just came out here and executed our offense pretty well tonight," the sophomore quarterback said on the field after the game.

Jones threw just one interception to go along with his three touchdowns and completed 34-of-49 pass attempts. The interception occurred on a crossing route that OU Coach Bob Stoops said got botched when the receiver fell down and wasn't in position on the short timing route.

Stoops was effusive in his praise for this quarterback's performance in this game and all season long.

"Landry, I have been saying it all year, has a huge future. He has had a great - he had a huge year this year. I mean, this guy is special. He's a long way from a finished product, and he is already a special and great quarterback and everyone is realizing it."

Jones threw for 4289 yards on the season with  a passer rating of 145.21. He had 35 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions and was sacked just 19 times this season and has hardly touched by the defense in this game.

"(The offensive line) did a great job all night. I don't think I was on the ground the entire night. Everyone else's jerseys and pants are all dirty and I still look like I got mine out of the washer," Jones said.

 

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Landry Jones postgame interview with ESPN's Heather Cox.

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The Oklahoma Sooners pose on the field after their Fiesta Bowl win.

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Jordan Todman, Connecticut Running Back, Will Declare For NFL Draft

In the post game press conference just moments after the Connecticut Huskies were defeated soundly by the Oklahoma Sooners in the 2011 Fiesta Bowl, junior Jordan Todman announced that he would declare himself eligible for the NFL Draft. Todman had 1,574 rushing yards on the season and ran for 121 yards in the loss to Oklahoma.

"I sat down with my family and friends and did a lot of thinking. I think the best decision for me is to declare into the NFL Draft this year," Todman said.

Todman's departure will leave a gaping hole in the UConn offense as he accounted for a large part of their production all season long. Connecticut Head Coach Randy Edsall, however, was completely supportive of his young player's decision.

"I'm 100 percent behind him. We've talked and we've done research and given him the information this I received and what we received...I think he'll do very well. So congratulations to Jordan. He has made a difference in this program," Edsall said.

Todman will join five Huskie seniors who were invited to play in the East-West game. The same five, along with Todman, were invited to the NFL combine.

At 5-9 and 193 pounds, Todman maybe considered a bit undersized for regular running duty at the next level but there are plenty of smaller running backs who have successful NFL careers. Arizona Cardinals running back, LaRod Stephens-Howling is only 5-7 and is already proving his worth as a kick return specialist and third-string back.

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