MADISON, Wis. -- The Big Ten's instant replay got an
"I did like it before ... but I don't like it anymore," said
Wisconsin linebacker Dontez Sanders, whose 50-yard fumble return
for a touchdown was nullified upon further review in the
Badgers' (No. 22 ESPN/USAToday; No. 21 AP) 34-6 rout of Central Florida.
Players and coaches on both teams criticized the experimental
system for being used at odd times, delaying the game and not being
used when it should have -- on a close touchdown before halftime.
"It caused more confusion for the refs than anything," Central
Florida defensive lineman Frisner Nelson said.
The Big Ten is the first conference to use instant replay to
review officials' calls. The NCAA authorized the conference to use
video replay to correct officiating mistakes on a one-year trial
In a two-minute span late in the first half, the replay system
drew the ire of the record crowd of 82,116 at renovated Camp
Randall Stadium and both Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez and UCF's
Dave Huxtable, who assumed head coaching responsibilities with
George O'Leary attending his mother's funeral in New York.
Sanders' 50-yard fumble return for a touchdown was called back
to midfield when the replay official ruled Sanders had a knee down
when quarterback Steven Moffett's fumble bounced into his hands.
Anthony Davis then gained 21 yards on a play that forced him
from the game with an eye injury. The referee announced a review by
the replay official had found that Davis stepped out of bounds at
the Central Florida 41 instead of the 28.
Upon further review, he corrected the call to show Davis stepped
out at the 29.
Referee Steve Pamon said the confusion came about because "we
can only go with the replay they show on TV and it wasn't until
after they said the 41 that TV showed another replay which actually
showed the yard line as the 29. That's why they buzzed us the
second time and we got it right."
"It's a work in progress," Pamon acknowledged. "Our job is to
get it right and anything that can help us get it right, I'm for."
Alvarez said the replay system wasn't intended for such
He didn't disagree with the touchdown being called back, but "I
don't think the intent of that rule is to stop the game for five
minutes to see if he stepped out five yards prior to the spot. ...
You could stop the game probably all the way along to get the
Five plays later, John Stocco hit Jonathan Orr with a 16-yard
touchdown pass that probably should have been reviewed. But the
play wasn't scrutinized further by the replay official -- the
coaches can't call for a review like they can in the NFL.
"You look on the (giant video/score) board in the stadium and
it sure looked to me like his foot was in the white out of
bounds," Huxtable said. "I asked the referee why can't we get a
replay of that, and he said they decide that up in the press box.
So, what's the deciding factor on whether they want to look at it
or they don't want to look at it? I don't know much about it, but
if you ask me, I would not be in favor of it."
Pamon said the replay official felt the correct call was made on
the field: "They don't just buzz and then go look for a mistake."
Even Orr thought it would be reviewed, however.
"It was close," he said. "I figured they would look at it."
Moffett said he didn't like the idea of replay at all: "The
calls should be made by the refs and you live with them. If they
make a bad call, they make a bad call. They just took too much time
to use it."
Alvarez said replay will be refined.
"The officials, I don't think, were really sure of the
procedure. I don't think anybody was real sure of how it was going
to go down. And I think things like (this) will clear it up,"
Alvarez said. "The Big Ten's administration is very progressive
and they'll continue to make corrections on it. And I think in the
long run it will work out."
Alvarez became the 10th Big Ten coach to win 100 games at the
same school. In 15 seasons with Wisconsin, he is 100-67-4.
Orr's TD gave the Badgers a 17-3 lead with 1:35 left before
halftime. Mike Allen's 29-yard field goal as the half expired made
Stocco scored on a 2-yard keeper in the third quarter and his
52-yard pass to tight end Owen Daniels down the left sideline in
the fourth quarter capped the scoring.
Davis rushed for 78 yards on 13 carries. He accounted for all 52
yards on the Badgers' opening touchdown drive, scampering in from 8
yards out for a 7-0 lead.
Matt Prater accounted for the Knights' scoring with field goals
of 51 and 33 yards.
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