The Michigan Wolverines beat Illinois at home on Saturday to remain undefeated and in the driver’s seat for a spot in the College Football Player, but they needed some help from the refs in order to get there.
Jim Harbaugh’s club won the game, 19-17, on a game-winning field-goal with just nine seconds left. But in order to set themselves up for that 35-yard kick, they needed a very favorable no-call from the officiating crew.
With Michigan facing 4th & 3 from Illinois’ 45-yard line, they ran a wide receiver screen that included some blatantly obvious offensive pass interference, as one Wolverines wideout was seen blocking well down-field before the ball was even thrown.
And to make matters worse, the Fighting Illini were penalized on the very next play for defensive pass interference, setting up Michigan with a first down just outside the red zone.
Illinois coach Bret Bielema didn’t shy away from sharing his thoughts. He let it be known that he was “pissed” about the officiating during his post-game press conference.
He even took this subtle shot at the officiating on Twitter later on:
Many on social media seemed to agree with Bielema.
In fact, there were even some who felt as though the game was fixed in favor of Michigan, keeping them and Ohio State undefeated ahead of their huge rivalry game next week.
Fixed or not, the win sets up an epic battle between the Wolverines and the Buckeyes next weekend, with the winner booking themselves a date in the Big Ten Championship and likely the College Football Playoff.
Who will the refs favor in that contest? Tune in to find out.