Bret Bielema takes aim at referees during Illinois-Michigan game
Bret Bielema appeared to have a huge problem with the referees in Saturday’s near-upset of Michigan, and he made it clear at various points of the game.
Bielema took persistent issue with the refereeing during the game, a 19-17 Michigan win. The first clear indication of Bielema’s anger came at halftime, when he referenced having to beat “110,000 and a few others” during an interview with ESPN’s Molly McGrath.
Bret Bielema calls out Big Ten Referees on national television. pic.twitter.com/IWZvq58NiG
— Illinois Football Focus (@IlliniFB) November 19, 2022
Bielema’s mood did not improve after the game. He could be seen yelling at the referees at the end of the game as well.
— Zach Heilprin (@ZachHeilprin) November 19, 2022
We do not know what Bielema was angry about, but there were some controversial calls and non-calls on Michigan’s final drive. The Wolverines benefitted from a pass interference call that moved them firmly into safe field goal range. In addition, some felt Michigan got away with offensive pass interference on a pivotal 4th and 3 when a potential pick play went unflagged.
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
Bielema had Illinois in position to win the game, but could not close it out. One could argue this had as much to do with the team going conservative on offense as it did with the officiating. That will not stop him from presumably wanting to put the refs in extreme timeout, at least if he could.