As an alum of Ohio State, Gophers football coach Glen Mason is on the mailing list for all sorts of literature about the happenings around the Columbus university.
Recently, a good amount of what Mason received in the mail highlighted the Buckeyes’ newly renovated Ohio Stadium.
After pumping $189 million into the new and improved Horseshoe, the capacity has been increased by more than 5,000 seats to a whopping 95,346 — making the stadium an even tougher place for a road team to play.
“The noise level is deafening,” Mason said. “So in saying that, because I don’t have much sense, I’m looking forward to my trip to Columbus.”
For their second-straight Big Ten road game the Gophers will run into a school celebrating its homecoming. First it was Purdue, now it’s the sixth-ranked Buckeyes.
“It’s going to be just like Penn State last year,” offensive lineman Jake Kuppe said. “You could barely hear yourself think at Penn State, and I can only imagine what Ohio State will be like.”
Mr. Smith goes to Columbus
Gophers offensive lineman Arthur Smith will have a homecoming of his own this Saturday, as the freshman returns to his hometown of Columbus.
Smith said he chose Minnesota over the Buckeyes because he wanted to be part of a program on the rise, rather than one already established as one of the best in the nation.
Although Smith said he was a Buckeyes fan growing up and his family still lives in Columbus, he won’t have any added emotion playing in the Horseshoe.
“Minnesota is my home now,” Smith said.
It has been a long month for Mason’s players off the field: In the past 30 days, three Gophers have been arrested.
Linebacker DaVonta Bell (fifth-degree assault), place-kicker Mike Albert (driving under the influence) and running back Tellis Redmon (driving with a suspended license) have all been picked up by the police.
Redmon was the latest case. He was stopped by police Saturday night because they saw a television playing in his car.
Redmon — who rushed for 150 yards against the Lions — was arrested on counts of driving after revocation and with no proof of insurance.
Although not pleased with his players’ alleged acts, Mason said no disciplinary action will be taken until the allegations can be determined true.
“I worry about these players doing the right things all the time, much like I worry about my children doing the right things all the time,” Mason said. “We’ve had a couple of instances lately and I don’t like any of those things. I don’t like anything that brings any negative publicity to our program or our University.”
Quarterback Travis Cole is nursing a sore right foot and has practiced lightly this week. But both Mason and Cole said they expect the junior to be full strength by Saturday.
Likewise, running back Thomas Tapeh is nursing a sore foot he injured late in the Purdue game. Although Mason feels Tapeh is almost 100 percent, he is still watching the freshman closely.
Bell, who injured his right knee on Saturday against Penn State, is not as fortunate as his teammates. Mason said Bell will undergo surgery for a torn patella tendon and is done for the season.
John R. Carter covers football and welcomes comments at [email protected]