It turns out one of the officials was on the receiving end of the hardest hit during the first half of the Illinois-Nebraska game.
During the second quarter of action, Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez’s pass attempt to a wide-open Chris Hickman sailed over his head. While the errant pass from Martinez deserves some criticism, fans couldn’t take their eyes off the bizarre collision that occurred over the middle of the field.
An Illinois linebacker pretty much blasted an official as he was trying to keep up with Hickman on the route. The referee landed right on his backside after taking that hit.
As you’d expect, college football fans found this collision very amusing.
Umpire gets blasted in the secondary, throws sails over wide open receiver's head pic.twitter.com/pDKLbmWCAh
— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) August 28, 2021
Shortly after that play, Martinez was sacked by Keith Randolph Jr. and fumbled the ball in the process. The ball was scooped up by Calvin Hart Jr. and returned for a touchdown.
Illinois went into halftime with a 16-9 lead over Nebraska despite losing starting quarterback Brandon Peters to a shoulder injury.
Nebraska is going to need Martinez to play smart, efficient football in the second half if it wants to pull off a comeback in its season opener. He has really struggled thus far to consistently hit his receivers in stride.
The second half of this game can be seen on FOX.