“The obvious answer is, don’t sub.”

It’s probably the asshole in me, but I love stuff like this.

The key moment in Kansas State’s 41-34 upset of then-No. 6 Oklahoma arguably occurred on a play that never even happened.

Trailing 24-20 in the middle of the third quarter, Oklahoma faced a 4th-and-5 from the K-State 43. Head coach Brent Venables opted to go for it, but in doing so the Sooners substituted, replacing running back Marcus Major with his backfield counterpart Eric Gray.

And that decision right there might have cost the Sooners the game.

Because Oklahoma substituted, K-State was allowed the opportunity to substitute. K-State head coach Chris Klieman noticed the substitution and shouted for his staff to send someone — anyone — on the field. Defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt send defensive end Nate Matlack to replace Cody Stufflebean, which required Matlack to run from his sideline over beyond the far hash.

Except instead of a run, it was more like a trot.

“We work on that,” Klieman told the Wichita Eagle. “It was a really sharp play by Coach Wyatt to get a defensive end for a defensive end. It would have been easy to just ship a corner out that was close to us, but we went defensive end for defensive end and we took our time.”

Because of the substitutions, Oklahoma didn’t get to snap the ball until four seconds were left on the game clock.  As a result, they never got the play off in time, took a delay of game penalty and punted.  Coaching genius, for the win!


Filed under Big 12 Football, Strategery And Mechanics

9 responses to ““The obvious answer is, don’t sub.”

  1. Ran A

    This is something that I think Kirby has gotten better and better at.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. toccoadawg

    Another chess versus checkers for the win! Coaching genius at its best! Wisdom, talent, and effort combined are a deadly equation. Just ask Brent Venables.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 79dawg

    Really depends on what crew you have. It just seems to me that in the SEC – contra conventional wisdom on here and elsewhere – that the officials are biased towards the offense getting the play off and are quick to let them go.
    The K-State move is certainly a legitimate defensive tactic and I think it could be used much more; that it isn’t is because of this bias of officials towards hustling to let the offense get the play off as the clock winds down. Just my anecdotal thoughts….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think the defense should typically sub anytime the offense does for this exact reason. The officials also have an obligation to keep play moving. If the player coming off is clearly loafing, blow the whistle ready for play and make the guy hustle to get off the field.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. David D

    Oklahoma? FTMF.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Right up there with the fake injury. Easy solution is a no substitution rule once play clock is down to XX. Then again, if offense is trying to put in a late sub, this is the risk they take.

    Or make it like hockey…fluid changes. HA!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. stoopnagle