Why does Jeff Lebby keep doing what he did Saturday in Lawrence?
If Jeff Lebby coached third base, nobody’d ever score from first on a double or second on a single. And if he managed a baseball team, nor would he green light any stolen bases.
He’d bunt plenty, though.
Then, for two or three weeks, maybe, he’d flip the script. He’d let his runners take the extra base. He’d hit and run. He wouldn’t let his hitters swing 3-0, but 3-1, sure, and the fans would relax, convinced he’d come to his senses.
Then he’d go right back to his uber-conservative ways and everyone would wonder why they let him fool them again and why does he coach baseball, anyway, because of all that he’s allowed to try, he tries so little.
Alas, Lebby is not a baseball coach, but Oklahoma’s offensive coordinator, and right after Ethan Downs made a fabulous play that should have ended the game, sniffing out Kansas quarterback Jason Beans’ attempted screen, intercepting it and bringing it back to the Kansas 38 with only 2:29 remaining, he did this:
He had quarterback Dillon Gabriel hand the ball to Jovantae Barnes, who went back a yard. He called Gabriel’s number on a designed run that lost another yard. Then, facing third-and-12, he had Gabriel hand the ball to Barnes again, who gained 5 yards.
And after OU lined up to go for it on fourth down because what’s the point in punting from your opponent’s 35-yard line, a false start pushed the ball back to the 40, the Sooners punted and you know the rest.
Kansas went 80 yards in seven plays, Devin Neal finished it with a 9-yard touchdown and OU, though it still had 55 seconds to make it happen, couldn’t, and the Jayhawks took down their first victory over the Sooners since 1997 when John Blake coached them and they lost to everybody.
Kansas prevailed 38-33 and you can pen the loss on any number of things: penalties, turnovers, missed tackles.
Still, perhaps with an assist from Brent Venables, it’s hard to know, Lebby was OU’s only chronic offender, calling each offensive play.
The majority of my work here at Oklahoma Columnist continue to come at no charge. Still, this venture is made possible by paid subscriptions for the small sum of $6/month or $60/year. If you’ve yet to upgrade to a paid subscription, please consider one today.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Oklahoma Columnist, by Clay Horning to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.