The running game was really working in the 3rd Quarter against Oklahoma. So why was Jake Sharp taken out of the game?
From the University Daily Kansan:
Jake Sharp had just rushed four times for 58 yards and scored on a 17-yard touchdown run to cut the Oklahoma lead to seven at 31-24.
It was early in the third quarter, the Kansas defense got a big stop, and it was time for Sharp and the offense to take the field with a chance to tie the game.
But when the Jayhawks’ offensive unit trotted out to take its position, it was Jocques Crawford — not Sharp — who stood behind Todd Reesing at the tailback spot.
To that point, Sharp had rushed for 98 yards on only nine carries — an average of 10.9 yards per rush. He had just crafted his way right through the Oklahoma defense to bring Kansas within seven points and appeared almost unstoppable.
But despite being down by only one touchdown with still more than nine minutes remaining in the third quarter, Mangino and the coaching staff decided that they had to switch from the ground attack to the air.
That meant Sharp, who ignited the Kansas comeback at Iowa State and appeared on his way to possibly do it again, was forced to the bench for Crawford.
“We needed a bigger body for pass protection,” Mangino said. “We didn’t have much of a choice. We were behind and had to throw the ball so we needed a bigger guy there to protect.”
There were 25 minutes in the game left at this point. Why did we need to throw the ball exactly?
I'm a big fan of Mangino and will continue to be unless something drastically changes with our program. But I've got to wonder if he didn't make a huge blunder here. I don't see why Sharp wouldn't come right back out there and keep running till they stopped us. Mix in a playaction pass here and there and we could've very well tied the game. Who knows how energized our D would've been after that.
You got to think that OU would've still pulled out the victory based on their talent. But it may have come down to the last 2 possessions and that is all you can ask for against a team like that.
So I ask you, did Mangino and staff hinder our chances to win this game? Or am I just over-analyzing things?
One thing is for sure. We have to run the ball 25-30 times against TTech, at least. Keeping their offense off the field is definitely the key to beating them. I hope Mangino and staff look to the OK. St. Cowboys as a Big 12 team that is doing it right by running the ball effectively and mixing in the pass where they need it. I love our pass offense, but if the running game is working, don't abandon it.