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MSU's Mullen criticizes replay official


Danny P Smith



STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen enjoyed watching freshman defensive back Johnthan Banks return two interceptions for touchdowns against the University of Florida Saturday night. 


But Mullen didn''t like seeing Florida''s Dustin Doe return an interception for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of Mississippi State''s 29-19 loss at Scott Field. 


Mullen said Doe''s touchdown should have never been allowed to stand. 


Mullen watched the film frame by frame of Doe''s 23-yard interception return for a score and it appears Doe lost the football at the 1-yard line. MSU recovered what it thought was a fumble in the end zone. 


During his Sunday teleconference, Mullen had sharp criticism for the replay official who was supposed to be monitoring the situation. 


"I''m going to find out who the video replay (official) was," Mullen said. "I''ve seen over and over the views of the ball being out of his hands before he crossed the goal line. That''s twice that an SEC replay official has blown a call with replays in our games resulting in big plays. I think it''s inexcusable for that official and I hope he is severely punished and never works another SEC game again because I believe it''s completely unacceptable." 


Dan Dembinski was the replay official and Dick Burleson was the replay booth communicator. 


Mullen was also concerned about a call where senior quarterback Tyson Lee, of Columbus, was penalized for an illegal forward pass when he was ruled throwing beyond the line of scrimmage. 


"I don''t know why we even have replay right now in the Southeastern Conference if they are not going to use it," Mullen said. 


Mullen said there were also inconsistencies in official''s calls concerning offsides on kickoffs against the Gators. 


After the Bulldogs closed the gap to 29-19 with 3 minutes and 51 seconds left in the game, they kicked off and pinned Florida inside the 5-yard line. MSU was flagged for being offsides on the play. 


Mullen insists the Gators were guilty of the same offense three or four times and it wasn''t called. 


"We do the same thing and we get called for it," Mullen said. "In the course of the game, you are really disappointed with inconsistent calls on their kickoffs." 


Mullen''s statements will more than likely bring a reprimand from the SEC office this week. The league warned Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino about his words on the same subject last week. 




Would do it again 


Mullen said he doesn''t regret going for a fake punt with 11 minutes and 46 seconds remaining against Florida. 


The Bulldogs trailed 16-13 at the time and sophomore Robert Elliott stumbled to the ground for a 4-yard loss. 


"I would have called it again and I thought we had it," Mullen said. "We didn''t execute it perfectly and that''s on me because I coach the special teams. I need to make sure we execute it properly with the blocking scheme up front. That''s where the mishap was." 


At the time, Mullen said MSU wasn''t moving the football well on offense and was needing a spark. 


"We weren''t there to keep it close, we were trying to win the game," Mullen said. "At that point, I thought it was the best opportunity to make a play to win the game." 




Pleased with Relf 


Although sophomore quarterback Chris Relf was still being disciplined for a violation of unspecified team policy, Mullen was happy to play Relf following a two-game suspension. 


Relf had 34 yards on eight carries in the second half against the Gators, but was sacked once. 


"I was pleased with his approach to the game," Mullen said of Relf. "He worked really hard in preparing for the game and did a nice job within the package we put him in to do. I thought it was a good step in the right direction for Chris." 




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Reader Comments

Article Comment Tim commented at 10/27/2009 11:56:00 AM:

I agree whole-heartedly about the fumble and the assistance given to Florida by the referees. Speak your mind Mr. Mullen. Punitive action against the agrieved rather than correction of the wrong, in at least the remaining games, only serves to foment greater discontent against the dictatorial league office by most who are not the favored gators. Bulldog football we're proud of you and rootin for you as always! GO BULLDOGS!


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