WAC commissioner believes instant replay is on the way

Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson pulled no punches. He believes instant replay is on the way for everybody.

Benson is in Chicago for a commissioner's meeting and he believes legislation could make instant replay mandatory by next fall. The WAC and the Sun Belt are two conferences not using it on a voluntary basis this year.

"Many commissioners are supportive of it," he said during Monday's WAC teleconference. "There will be a push for it as early as next fall. They will try to move this thing through the NCAA as fast as possible."

Currently, the Mountain West Conference operates like the NFL, where coaches can challenge certain rulings by throwing a red flag on the field. Other conferences have replay officials, who can halt play at any time to review a play.

Not all the WAC stadiums are equipped to handle replay right now, but Benson is hoping that WAC.TV, which will stream video starting this winter with basketball games (for a fee), would be enough to support the replay process when a game isn't on television. Each school would have to supply a replay booth.

Benson said the NCAA has a lot of options on what type of replay. The governing body would have to decide how many cameras would be used, where they would be stationed and what kind of angles would be needed. The NCAA would have to decide whether the replay would be of the challenge variety or whether a replay official would control when the game would be stopped for a replay.

Benson said he got a first-hand look at replay when he went to the Hawai'i-USC game. The WAC isn't using replay, but there was a replay official in a booth looking at the action.

"I sat in the replay booth and watched the whole system," he said. "There were two reviewable plays. Action would have been stopped twice."

Several WAC coaches were asked about replay and most were happy with it. They would favor the coaches' challenge system.

"I think it's been great," Louisiana Tech coach Jack Bicknell said. "They are doing it the right way. It really helped us against Florida. If we can, I'd like to have it."

Idaho's Nick Holt and Boise State's Dan Hawkins like replay and they would rather see coaches be able to challenge certain calls made on the field by throwing a flag

"I should have made one early in the first half, but I didn't want to lose a timeout (because of the two-minute offense)," Holt said. "There are things they don't call I would want to have replayed. I would like coaches to (be able to) weigh in on that."

FRESNO STATE (1-1, 0-0)

Paul Pinegar showed why he is one of the top quarterbacks in the nation in last week's 37-34 loss to Oregon. Pinegar completed 33 of 43 passes for a career-high 418 yards, which earned him the WAC Offensive Player of the Week award.

"Except for one play, I thought he played a great football game," said coach Pat Hill.

The Bulldogs were flagged 16 times last weekend, and Hill obviously wasn't a happy camper. He wasn't happy with the officiating crew.

"We were up 17-0 and only one penalty was called," Hill said. "I don't know why all of a sudden (we got penalized). All I ask for is consistency. Big plays were affected by penalties.

On the injury front, Hill doesn't know if South Lake Tahoe's Garrett McIntyre (high ankle sprain) will be back for next Tuesday's game against Toledo. Kick returner Clifton Smith is out for the season with an undisclosed injury.

BOISE STATE (0-2, 0-0)

The Broncos have lost two straight and face dangerous Bowling Green State Wednesday night at home on ESPN.

Bowling Green has Omar Jacobs at quarterback. Jacobs has a chance to break ex-Boise star Ryan Dinwiddie's NCAA record for passing efficiency.

"He gets it to the right guy," Boise State coach Dan Hawkins said. "He finds the guys that are open, gives them the opportunity to catch and run with it. It's going to be difficult to stop these guys."

Hawkins said he's not sure if his offense has quite the explosiveness of Bowling Green State's, which made nationally ranked Louisville look bad a few weeks ago. Jared Zabransky played better against Oregon State than he did against Georgia, and that made Hawkins happy.

Hawkins said that safety Cam Hall, who was reinstated to the squad last week after three vehicular manslaughter charges were dropped, will play against Bowling Green. He will not start, however.

SAN JOSE STATE (1-1, 0-0)

The Spartans took the week off after losing to Illinois and travel to San Diego State (0-3) this weekend. New coach Dick Tomey hasn't been pleased with San Jose State's inability to pick up the "Desert Swarm" scheme that Tomey brought from Arizona.

"I'm impatient with it," he admitted. "We need to be in the right spot. If we execute we have a good chance of shutting it (the offense) down. Obviously you have to give the other team some credit for being able to do the job.


Despite a 34-14 loss to Kansas, Bicknell was pleased with the work of his defensive unit.

"I'm extremely disappointed with the loss," he said. "I felt like we had a good opportunity to win the game. It was 7-7 at halftime. Two picks in a row on tipped balls and that was it. We've got to get better offensively.

The Bulldogs allowed only 277 yards, their seventh-lowest total in the last decade. Kansas scored 24 of its 34 points on four scoring drives that totaled only 91 yards. Senior linebackers Barry Robertson and Byron Santiago collected 13 and nine tackles respectively.

Bicknell said he will take this bye week and hopefully come up with a starting quarterback. Neither Matt Kubik or Donald Allen have been very good. Kubik has completed 22 of 50 for 242 yards and two TDs, but has thrown four interceptions. Allen has completed 15 of 28 for 132 yards and has thrown three interceptions. Kubik has the stronger arm and Allen runs well.

IDAHO (0-3, 0-0)

After two impressive outings, the Vandals may have taken a step backwards in their 34-6 loss to Washington. Coach Nick Holt wasn't pleased with his offensive unit.

"We didn't play as well as we needed," Holt said. "We didn't run the ball effectively and we gave up a lot of sacks. We had opportunities to make things interesting. We had to settle for field goals instead of touchdowns."

With top running back Jayson Bird out for the season, the Vandals turned to Jason Brown, who gained 34 yards on 10 carries. Holt said he will continue to see action in the coming weeks.

"We wanted to get him some carries; see what he could do," Holt said. "He has ability and good vision. With Bird out for the season, we've got to find a go-to guy."

Antwaun Sherman has a lot of talent, but Holt feels he is more of a situational player.


The Aggies have lost three straight to quality opponents - UTEP, Colorado and New Mexico - and play their fourth straight tough opponent when 13th-ranked California visits Las Cruces Friday night for an ESPN televised game.

"They're a great team," Aggies coach Hal Mumme said. "There is a reason why they played with USC all the way to the end. They are athletic and fast."

Mumme said that the Aggies improved a little bit offensively.

"The basic things; pass protection and run blocking," Mumme said when asked in what areas the Aggies had improved in. "We had a back (Justine Buries) run for 117 yards. Our receivers are getting a little bit better."

UTAH STATE (0-1, 0-0)

It's been a strange year for the Aggies, who had their opening game against Nicholls State canceled because of Hurricane Katrina, played Utah and lost and then had a bye last week. Not exactly the way you want to start a season with a first-year head coach.

"Our biggest concern is only playing one game," said offensive coordinator Mike Santiago, whose Aggies meet UNLV this weekend. "What we need to do is play some games.

"We took the time to make some corrections on offense and defense from the Utah game and get a little headstart on UNLV. They (UNLV) have great team speed. They do a lot of things well offensively and defensively."

HAWAI'I (0-2, 0-0)

The Rainbows had a bye last week and host Idaho in the first WAC conference game Friday night. Coach June Jones didn't participate on the teleconference.

n Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com or (775) 881-1281.


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