Video: Two officials take big hits from Illinois players
It was a very rough day for the referees Saturday in the season opener between Illinois and Nebraska. Not necessarily because they got a lot of calls wrong, but because they were literally getting hit around pretty good.
In the first half, an Illinois player collided with the umpire while chasing after a crossing route. It actually took the defender out of the play, but Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez overthrew the wide open receiver.
The referee goes down after taking a hit on this play from Nebraska pic.twitter.com/LwcPejeaRm
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) August 28, 2021
Amazingly, the same thing happened in the second half, when an Illinois defender blindsided referee Matt Gallagher on yet another crossing route. Gallagher was actually shaken up and required medical attention, but was able to walk it off.
Official accidentally blindsided again pic.twitter.com/gfO3K38vfV
— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) August 28, 2021
Being a ref is far from an easy job, and not just because you have to get the calls right. It’s not the first time we’ve seen an official have to absorb contact, and it won’t be the last, either. The good news is, in this instance, everyone turned out okay.