Questionable O.T. call has Mason upset

David La

If you’ve never seen an angry Gopher, just ask football coach Glen Mason to comment about the questionable holding call against his offense in overtime Saturday.
The penalty moved the Gophers back 10 yards and all but took them out of field goal range. Immediately following the game, Mason said, “I really hope (the hold) is there.”
Asked the next day by a reporter about the call, Mason was even more diplomatic — and agitated.
“You want to run a big story, ‘Coach criticizes officials,’ and I get to pay a $10,000 fine,” Mason said. “I’m not going to do it. If you wanted to watch the film and make your own evaluation, I can’t even let you do that.”
Carter comes back
Minnesota’s Tyrone Carter and Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne both missed their share of plays in Saturday’s game. Dayne was sidelined by a shoulder injury, while Carter left the game with back spasms from a hit taken returning a punt.
Carter went out late in the first quarter. He attempted to walk to the locker room, but fell to both knees in obvious pain. The Badgers mounted a scoring drive in Carter’s absence to tie the score at seven.
But on the ensuing Wisconsin kickoff midway through the second quarter, Carter was back in and returned the kick 28 yards.
Carter finished the game with 14 tackles and his gritty play was praised by his teammates and coaches alike.
“He’s a tough kid, you can’t keep him out,” linebacker Sean Hoffman said.
“Somebody asked me was I surprised to see him come back in,” Mason said. “Nothing that guy does surprises me.”
Deficiencies defending deep
The Gophers secondary didn’t exactly put on a clinic when run-heavy Wisconsin went through the air.
Badgers receiver Chris Chambers made a spectacular grab as he fell down from a blatant tackling attempt by the Gophers’ Willie Middlebrooks.
Glen Mason thought Middlebrooks at least had the right idea.
“It was intentional,” Mason said. “But it was smart: You tackle the guy, get a 15-yard penalty and move on.”
Wisconsin declined the 15-yard pass interference call and kept the 40-yard gain to the Minnesota 14-yard line. Four plays later, the drive culminated with a three-yard run by Dayne.
Later in the second quarter, the Badgers struck again, this time an 81-yard touchdown toss to receiver Nick Davis. Davis raced to pay dirt, well out in front of both cornerback Jimmy Wyrick and free safety Delvin Jones.
Mason called the lapse a “busted coverage,” and Jones sighted a conflict with his other responsibilities that let the receiver go free. Jones said a blitz was called by the Gophers defense. Expecting a short pass, he watched the Badgers’ short-route receivers and let Davis run deep.
Kicking Astein
Gophers linebacker Astein Osei (pronounced Ass-ten O-sigh) started his first-ever game Saturday and responded with a flourish.
The sophomore from Bolingbrook, Ill., made seven tackles, three for a loss, and had one sack.
On Wisconsin’s third drive of the game, Osei personally pushed the Badgers offense back with a nine-yard sack and a tackle for a loss of one yard on consecutive plays.
Injuries to Curtese Poole and Justin Hall allowed Osei his chance to play. Mason was impressed with his showing.
“He must have played pretty darn well,” Mason said. “He had a lot of tackles. He’s a great kid, too. He’s smart and he works hard.”

David La Vaque covers football and welcomes comments at [email protected]