12:00 PM ET, September 4, 2004
Camp Randall Stadium, MADISON, WI
MADISON, Wis. -- The Big Ten's instant replay got an immediate thumbs-down.
"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 basis.
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 disputes, however.
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 correct spots."
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 it 20-3.
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.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||6-16||6-14|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||2-3|
|TD||9:27||ANTHONY DAVIS 8 YD RUN (MIKE ALLEN KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 52 yards.
|FG||6:09||MATT PRATER 51 YD FG|
Drive info: 8 plays, 53 yards.
|FG||0:35||MIKE ALLEN 40 YD FG|
Drive info: 8 plays, 31 yards.
|TD||1:35||JONATHAN ORR 16 YD PASS FROM JOHN STOCCO (MIKE ALLEN KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 50 yards.
|FG||0:00||MIKE ALLEN 29 YD FG|
Drive info: 2 plays, 24 yards.
|TD||8:48||JOHN STOCCO 2 YD RUN (MIKE ALLEN KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 66 yards.
|FG||0:07||MATT PRATER 33 YD FG|
Drive info: 10 plays, 22 yards.
|TD||12:30||OWEN DANIELS 52 YD PASS FROM JOHN STOCCO (MIKE ALLEN KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 80 yards.