Michigan defeated Illinois to stay undefeated on Saturday afternoon, but the win didn’t come without controversy.
Illini head coach Bret Bielema was very ticked off after the outing, and a review of video from the game shows that he was right to be.
On multiple occasions, particularly late, the Wolverines got special help from the referees.
Michigan’s final drive of the game showed a number of especially egregious examples of this.
Case in point: Michigan was gifted a pass interference call that placed them comfortably into field goal range with under a minute remaining. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, the Wolverines were permitted to get away with an offensive pass interference on an absolutely crucial 4th and 3.
Notice how the refs were calling everything against Illinois on their second to last drive. And then they don’t call this obvious pick play on 4th and 3 against Michigan. Just wow #Illinois #Michigan pic.twitter.com/GbX9gbhbIh
— Brett (@btcfive) November 19, 2022
Michigan saved again by refs.
How is this not a pick play? You can block now before a pass? pic.twitter.com/R8pTgeuQkl
— Andrew_M (@TheParlayDad) November 19, 2022
It’s easy to see why Bielema was so mad afterwards.
Bret Bielema calls out Big Ten Referees on national television. pic.twitter.com/IWZvq58NiG
— Illinois Football Focus (@IlliniFB) November 19, 2022
“I’m extremely pissed off,” he said.
“Very angry. Very upset. I think our kids did a lot to win the football game and to continually just have things go against us, very frustrated. You’ve got to stand up for your people that you believe in. I believe in our locker room big time, and I know that they’ll rise up to the challenge once again.”
Obviously a lot was on the line in this one from the Big Ten’s perspective. Now that both squads are undefeated, the looming Ohio State versus Michigan game has a lot more meaning.
But that also isn’t an excuse to blatantly rig a different game.
Worst of all, this isn’t an isolated incident.
Alex Morgan’s outfit caused a stir.https://t.co/oQhTUOI1c0
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 18, 2022
Hopefully the powers that be step up and do something about the inconsistent refereeing.
If they don’t, it will eventually do irreparable damage to the integrity of the game.
A graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.