Back from South Bend and ready for a nap. OK, I didn’t actually play in the game nor did I cheer, but it was a long day for we scribes, too.
Also it’s tough to sleep when you’re the next Kreskin _ or am I just Carnac?
Onto the news of the day. A couple of items from coach Randy Edsall’s chat with the media:
— If his team had lost to Notre Dame, Edsall would have been upset about the scenario. But there’s little doubt the coach had a few gripes with the two holding calls late in the game that wiped out game-winning touchdowns (or at least one game-winner and one that came within inches of being a TD).
WR Marcus Easley was called for the first (obviously a miss by the officials) and FB Anthony Sherman was flagged for the other (close, but didn’t look like holding at first glance).
Well, Big East Coordinator of Football Officiating Terry McAulay probably knew Edsall would be calling him about the plays so McAulay called first.
When Edsall landed at Bradley International Airport at about 10:30 p.m. Saturday night he had a lot of messages on his cellphone. One of them was from McAualay.
“He got to me because he probably knew I would be giving me a call,” Edsall said. “But he got to me before we landed and said that neither offensive holding call was a foul.”
It was kind of a surprising move. Edsall says he holds no grudge, though he wouldn’t say how many times before he’d received that kind of admission from McAulay or anyone else at the league office.
“Just like coaching officiating is a tough business,” Edsall said. “We don’t get everything right and there’s times where officials might not get everything right. I think that’s the human element of the game.”
— The coaches gave game balls to _ in addition to Jasper Howard’s family _ DT Kendall Reyes (defense), KR Jordan Todman (special teams) and the entire offensive line: LT Mike Ryan, LG Erik Kuraczea, LG Matt Olivier (who replaced Kuraczea after he was injured), C Moe Petrus, RG Zach Hurd and RT Mike Hicks.
— No significant injuries, it seemed. DE Jesse Joseph (shoulder) probable, OG Erik Kuraczea (lower leg) questionable, and WR Kashif Moore (lower leg) probable.
— Edsall had a long talk with Todman about his touchdown pose (Touchdown Jordan, nee Jesus?) when he scored in the second quarter.
“We don’t disrespect the game that way,” Edsall said he told the sophomore. “You hand the ball to the officials and you go celebrate with your teammates.
“And guess what? He did it the second time,” Edsall said. “He flipped the ball to the official, he turned around and he celebrated with his teammates. I did a good job of teaching after that first one. I think he got my message loud and clear.”
Of course, at the end of the game Andre Dixon tossed the ball into the crowd in celebration. On that one Edsall wasn’t so mad about the celebration…just the loss of a potential trophy.
“I wanted to tell him ‘You’re a knucklehead. Save that ball. We needed that ball,’ ” Edsall said with a laugh. “But that moment, I think that’s a little bit different.”
— Edsall said he would have done the same thing leading up to Dave Teggart’s missed field goal at the end of regulation. The Huskies let a lot of time tick off the clock intentionally and did not use their extra timeouts to try and gain more yardage.
Teggart missed from 37 yards, sending the game into overtime, but the coach wouldn’t change anything.
“Not at all. I don’t second-guess that one at all,” Edsall said. “We got the ball right in the middle of the field, right where we wanted it. The young man had made a 37-yarder from right in the middle of the field. And I have the utmost confidence in David that he can make that kick.”