Video: Ref rules obvious touchdown for Illinois as a touchback

Lovie Smith and his Illinois Fighting Illinois have had a difficult season. Earlier in the year, reporters were asking Smith if he felt he was being too soft on his team, and now referees are taking away obvious touchdowns.

The latter likely stings more.

The call was eventually overturned and the Illini were rewarded with the touchdown. It’s easy to forget how fast the game moves and how easy it is to miss a call. The referees often do such a good job that when a mistake like this is made, it sticks out like a sore thumb.

In his first season with Illinois, Smith has now won his second conference game. A veteran coach in the NFL, Smith agreed to coach Illinois on a six-year, $21 million contract. He is expected to to turn the program around and compete in the Big X.

A win against a disappointing, but not untalented Michigan State team is a good sign.

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