The second half got off to a confusing start in Saturday's game between Illinois and Nebraska.
On the third quarter's opening drive, the Illini unwittingly turned the ball over after officials ruled what was believed to be a third-down play was actually a fourth-down play. The confusion stemmed from the two on-field down markers showing two different downs. The one the Illini sideline was looking at said third, and the other said fourth. The confusion led to a lengthy review, with the Huskers eventually getting possession of the ball.
Now, this didn't end up being that big of a deal. Not only did Illinois end up winning the game, 14-13, thanks to a final-minute, game-winning touchdown drive, but Nebraska's offense turned the ball back over to Illinois just a few plays later, Tommy Armstrong throwing an interception to Clayton Fejedelem.
But Monday, the Collegiate Officiating Consortium issued a statement admitting the screw-up anyway.
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"Collegiate Officiating Consortium Coordinator of Officials Bill Carollo acknowledged a breakdown of officiating mechanics in regards to down and distance during the first series of the third quarter in the Nebraska at Illinois football game on Saturday, Oct. 3.
"While officials on the field are responsible for the correct down, distance and oversight of the chain crew, it is also the responsibility of the replay officials to monitor the game administration and correct the number of a down and distance if inaccurate. If properly officiated, the Illinois football team would have had an additional down.
"All officials in the Collegiate Officiating Consortium are graded and evaluated on every call of every game of the season. Errors of this nature have a significant impact on game assignments, bowl assignments and overall year end status.
"The Collegiate Officiating Consortium consists of the Big Ten, Mid-American and Missouri Valley Conferences. The consortium considers this matter concluded and will have no further comment."
It was a ridiculously confusing situation in the moment, thankfully a mix up that didn't end up having much effect on the outcome of the game.