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How Kliff Kingsbury sealed his own fate

One play called changed a season.

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Before I start, it’s time to be honest. The game has had me finding some relief at the bottom of a glass - but! - that has given me the courage to write this article. I made this argument during the Oklahoma game to the other writers and I am determined to make it again.

There is a lot of blame for the current state of the program. David Gibbs sold us on #thingshavechanged, but they seem to have gotten worse. Injuries have absolutely decimated the depth of this offensive line and left our quarterbacks in danger. But the question is how much blame falls on Kingsbury?

I truly believe all of it does, and it comes from one play call.

Let me set the scene, you’ve got an Oklahoma team on the ropes. After two interceptions setting up short field, this game looks like it is yours to take. Another drive has brought you to the doorstep of the endzone. Alan Bowman has been lights out, and the call comes in.

Bowman runs left on a designed run and gets absolutely hammered short of the goal line. He comes back and the team ends up scoring but Bowman looks gimpy. Fast forward to after the game, and we saw him leave the game never to return. The word was that he suffered an aggravation of his previous lung injury.

Kliff defended his decision, talking about Murray running all over the yard as defense for the call. But Kyler Murray is inherently a running quarterback. In fact, that is what takes Murray from really good to great. Alan Bowman is the slowest guy on the field; I would even say most offensive lineman could out run him.

Kingsbury’s decision to run him came under scrutiny, but not enough. That call threw away our season. Once again, all we had to do was run north and south but Kingsbury decided to get cute. Duffey is awful, and Carter is rusty but neither should be on the field.

This is a larger symptom of the programs failures. Kingsbury’s desires to shake things up when it is not necessary has burned this program again and again. And of course with the season hanging between bad and great, Kingsbury fell back into his bad habit.

I have heard every argument for why this call was not that bad. But here is the truth: running a pocket passer against a bad Oklahoma defense never made sense. Bowman was never going to score because he thrives best in the pocket - not trying to out run. So for a supposed “offensive genius” this was pretty much a dud. Yet even worse, this cost us our only real quarterback.

That single decision likely cost us the Oklahoma game, it for sure cost us the Texas game, and it for sure cost us the Kansas State game. It is time to stop justifying it and face facts. Kingsbury cost us our season, and it is time for him to go.