COLUMBUS, Ohio — Late last Tuesday, after what he called a poor practice, Minnesota football coach Glen Mason sat alone in his office and pondered what to do about quarterback Travis Cole.
After everyone had left the football building, Cole popped in to visit Mason.
“He said ‘Hey coach, how are you doing?,'” Mason said. “I thought ‘This guy has a lot of nerve the way he practiced, to come in and say hello to me.'”
Mason said Cole apparently forgot about the day’s poor practice, and claimed “he would be all right come Saturday” — which Mason added was a typical answer from a signal-caller.
“There’s a saying that all good quarterbacks have short memories, either good or bad,” Mason said. “Cole has no memory. He’s a cool customer.”
That coolness led to an impressive game against the Buckeyes. Making his first Big Ten road start, the junior college transfer helped carry his team to a 29-17 upset of the then sixth-ranked Buckeyes.
Cole was 16 for 28 on the afternoon for 243 yards and two touchdowns. 163 of those yards went to junior wideout Ron Johnson.
Mason was in fact right, Cole must have forgotten about the chewing out he took from Mason in practice.
Either that, or he took it to heart.
“People say some can’t take criticism, but I can take it like it’s no big deal,” Cole said. “You can’t go down into the dumps, you have to come out for the next play.”
Gophers running back Tellis Redmon finished the day with 118 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries.
This was Redmon’s fourth 100-yard rushing game this season and the 118 yards against the Buckeyes were the most by any Ohio State opponent this season.
Defensive end Karon Riley had another two sacks on Saturday to increase his team-leading total to six.
In just one-plus season at Minnesota, Riley has registered 22 career sacks. Two more and the senior will break Lamanzer Williams’ school-record 23.5.
Lower the flags
Minnesota had just three penalties for 56 yards on Saturday, but the impressive part of the stat is that none of the three were due to the crowd noise.
The 98,120 fans didn’t cause the Gophers one false start or delay of game — a rarity on the road in the Big Ten.
Albert returns to kickoffs
After Dan Nystrom’s poor kickoff in the first quarter, Mason recalled Mike Albert to handle the duties.
Albert, who struggled early in the season, consistently kicked off to inside the five yard line. He also had one touchback.
On Sunday, Mason announced a pair of injuries stemming from the Ohio State game.
Defensive lineman Mo White (shoulder) and tight end Scooter Baugus (knee). Mason listed White as “questionable” for next Saturday’s Indiana game, while Baugus is “probable.”
John R. Carter covers football and welcomes comments at [email protected]