Sunday, September 17, 2000
Minter reconsiders safety strategy
By Brian Grover
Special to the Enquirer
MADISON, Wis. After losing a heartbreaking overtime decision Saturday, the undesirable luxury of hindsight reared its ugly head in UC coach Rick Minter's postgame comments.
At question was Minter's decision to take a safety and give Wisconsin two points with Cincinnati leading, 19-13 in the waning moments of the fourth quarter.
The Bearcats were backed up, punting from their own five-yard line, and Minter played the field position game, opting for a Jason Mammarelli free kick rather than a punt from his own end zone.
The plan backfired, however, as Wisconsin, which started from its own 40, drove 60 yards to score a touchdown. The Bearcats, trailing by three instead of one, tied the game with a field goal at the end of regulation, rather than winning it.
If we had it to do over, I wouldn't have taken the safety and given them two, Minter conceded. That proved to be our undoing. I just felt we needed to take that safety and give our defense the extra 15-20 yards. They (Wisconsin) went out against a tired UC defense and put it to us.
BACK IN THE SACK: UC linebacker Antwan Peek picked an opportune time to record the Bearcats first sack of the season.
With the Badgers on the Cincinnati 32-yard line at the end of the first half, Wisconsin quarterback Brooks Bollinger dropped back to pass with eight seconds to play and was swarmed under by Peek and defensive tackle Mario Monds. Out of timeouts, the Badgers couldn't prevent time from expiring.
ANOTHER BIG KICK: It was deja vu for Jason Mammarelli. One week after booting a 47-yard field goal as time expired to beat Syracuse, Mammarelli was faced with a 47-yarder with four seconds left to send the game to overtime. Once again he connected.
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