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#pounditThursday, December 7, 2023

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.

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.

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.

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.


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