The biggest regular season game in college football this season takes place next week, as Michigan travels to Columbus for a showdown with Ohio State in a game with major Playoff implications. The third-ranked Wolverines and second-ranked Buckeyes had to get through this weekend first, though, and for the fine folks in Ann Arbor, that meant taking on a difficult Illinois team.
It was not easy, but ultimately, Michigan was able to pick up a 19-17 win in the Big House. This did not come without some controversy, as the Illini had the Wolverines dead to rights if they were just able to stop them on a fourth down. Michigan’s offense faced a fourth-and-3 from near midfield while down by one, and because they were all out of timeouts, a turnover on downs would give Illinois a win.
JJ McCarthy completed a pass to Isaiah Gash for a first down, and eventually, Michigan would kick a game-winning field goal. But the pass to Gash came under controversial circumstances, as the officials did not penalize the Wolverine offense for what looked like an illegal pick play.
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
Illini coach Bret Bielema, who expressed at halftime that he was not happy with the refs, took to Twitter after the game and made clear that this will be a point of emphasis over the next week.
— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) November 19, 2022
“I’m extremely pissed off,” Bielema said after the game about the officiating, per Footballscoop. “Very angry, very upset. I think our kids did a lot to win the football game and to continually have things go against us, very frustrating.
“You have to stand up for the people you believe in. I believe in that locker room, big-time. I know they’ll rise up to the challenge once again.”