June 16, 2024

Lance Leipold disappointed after Jayhawks got shafted by officials

Kansas Jayhawks Football

Kansas Coach Lance Leipold discusses a previous play with an official during a timeout in the second quarter against Oklahoma State Saturday October 14, 2023 at Boone Pickens Stadium. (Lynn Harrington/stayaliveinpower5)

STILLWATER, Okla. — Although the Jayhawks only committed three penalties in last Saturday’s loss in Stillwater, one of those calls was controversial and killed a pivotal drive by the offense.

Coach Lance Leipold noticed how the crowd of 53,855 at Boone Pickens Stadium became a factor in the fourth quarter. After all, the intensity and noise levels made it hard for Leipold’s squad to communicate on offense. Kansas was up 32-27, had the ball at the 50-yard line with nine minutes left on the clock, and that’s when the downward spiral started.

Quarterback Jason Bean completed a 20-yard pass to tight end Trevor Kardell for what appeared to be a first down. However, an official threw a flag, and the crowd became so silent you could hear crickets. Running back Devin Neal got flagged on a personal foul for unnecessary roughness. So instead of a Jayhawk first down at the Cowboys’ 30-yard line, the offense went in reverse.

Instant replay actually showed a semi-late block by Kansas’ wideout Luke Grimm on Oklahoma State’s cornerback D.J. McKinney, and usually those go uncalled. The entire ordeal left Leipold furious on the sidelines, and rightfully so.

“So Devin hit him after the whistle blew, I don’t know,” Leipold said. “But it’s amazing sometimes what’s really decided to be called, and what’s not in this league.”

That wasn’t the end of the Jayhawks getting the short end of the stick with the officials either. Later on that same drive, the offense was faced with a critical fourth down. Before Bean could snap the ball it appeared Oklahoma State’s nose tackle Justin Kirkland, and linebacker Collin Oliver jumped offsides.

No flag was thrown though, while Oliver wound up with a strip sack on Bean, and Kansas turned it over on downs. Leipold later described the excuses he heard from the officials for the no-call during his post game press conference.

“Well it’s not mine, it’s his, it’s that, it’s talk to the other official, it’s not his call or I didn’t see it,” he said. “The white head doesn’t make an offsides call, so whatever.”

Kansas had a ton of momentum, and could’ve potentially went up by two scores on Oklahoma State if it wasn’t for suspect officiating. That drive clearly shifted the momentum to the Cowboys’ side. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise why Leipold felt his players were treated unfairly in a hostile environment.

The 59-year old coach understands that rules are rules at the end of the day. So Leipold is going to control what he can, which is watch film and adjust accordingly.

“I can’t change it, I just got to look at it.”