Simmons play controversial with Brewster, Gophers

Junior Eric Decker tries to cut around an Ohio State defender Saturday. Decker was limited to five catches for just 55 yards on the day.

Paul Bangasser

Junior Eric Decker tries to cut around an Ohio State defender Saturday. Decker was limited to five catches for just 55 yards on the day.

When Jack Simmons caught a 12-yard pass in the second quarter , things werenâÄôt going too bad for the Gophers. Trailing 13-3, they had recovered from an early touchdown and kept the Buckeyes to field goals on their previous two drives . Simmons was swarmed by defenders, and eventually almost every Ohio State player, as well as a few Gophers players, were in the pack, which wasnâÄôt moving. No whistle ever blew, and Simmons eventually fumbled the ball, which was recovered by Ohio StateâÄôs Anderson Russell . âÄúThey never blew the whistle. I donâÄôt know what theyâÄôre calling there,âÄù receiver Eric Decker said. âÄúThey said something about him making progress down the field and they couldnâÄôt see the ball. You have to blow a whistle, because thatâÄôs unfair to us.âÄù Gophers coach Tim Brewster challenged the call, saying that the play shouldâÄôve ended when SimmonsâÄô forward progress stopped, but it wasnâÄôt overturned. Taking the ball at MinnesotaâÄôs 35-yard line, Ohio State drove for a touchdown , which Brewster acknowledged as a turning point. âÄúOur defense had been playing lights out, right?âÄù Brewster said. âÄúThat was a big play in the football game. I wouldnâÄôt have challenged it if I didnâÄôt feel very strongly about it.âÄù Mason on hand Former Gophers head coach Glen Mason was at the game in two capacities Saturday. The Ohio State alumnus served as an honorary captain for the Buckeyes, as well as a color commentator for the gameâÄôs broadcast on Big Ten Network. As an honorary captain, Mason joined the captains of both teams before the game for the coin toss. He shook hands with the four Gophers captains âÄî Adam Weber , Eric Decker , Willie VanDeSteeg and Steve Davis -âÄî all of whom he recruited. Even MasonâÄôs successor, Tim Brewster, came out to shake hands, though coaches typically arenâÄôt present for the coin toss. âÄúThatâÄôs my first time getting to see him since he was let go,âÄù Weber said. âÄúI have a lot of respect for him because he recruited me and gave me an opportunity to play here. It was a great time to see him and have a few words with him.âÄù Maciejowski plays Fifth-year senior quarterback Mike Maciejowski was put in for a two point conversion late in the fourth quarter, completing a pass to Eric Decker . Maciejowski is Columbus, Ohio native, and Brewster said he deserved to get a chance to play. âÄúHeâÄôs as good of a kid as we have on our team. I love the kid,âÄù Brewster said. âÄúThatâÄôs a memory that heâÄôs going to take with him the rest of his life.âÄù Etc. âÄ¢ It was the first game with the student body on campus for Ohio State, which just started classes last week. âÄúOur students are back in town which is an exciting thing for us,âÄù Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel said before the game. âÄúOur school starts [Wednesday], and so itâÄôll be the first time weâÄôll have our 30,000 students in the stadium. Hopefully theyâÄôll be wild and crazy and raise our level of play.âÄù âÄ¢ DaâÄôJon McKnight caught a 22-yard touchdown pass at the end of the fourth quarter, his first career catch .