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WATCH: Josh Heupel Dishes on ‘Comical’ Referee Interactions

One of the notable storylines in the 2021 Music City Bowl between Tennessee and Purdue was the amount of late-game injuries from the Boilermakers’ team.

It’s almost always going to be difficult to determine the severity of a player’s injury just from video evidence in hindsight. However, this has been a reoccurring situation for Tennessee’s opponents this year.

After the game, during the press conference for Josh Heupel, the Tennessee head coach did not hesitate to share his thoughts on the situation. Heupel spoke about interactions he had with the referees throughout the game, calling the conversations “comical” in the process.

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A little more than halfway into the press conference on Thursday evening, Heupel was asked if he supports a mandatory cooling-off period for injured players, meaning that a player must be required to sit for a set amount of plays if they were to stop the drive with an injury. Of if it is the flip side of that, as the reporter stated, and if that’s just a reality of the nature of the game. Heupel dodged the question to an extent but used the time to acknowledge his thoughts on the referees.

“Yeah, you know what’s crazy is the officials wanted that tonight,” Heupel said regarding a potential rule change for injured players. “I thought that was pretty comical that they came up and said that to me.”

Heupel went on to shed some more light on the statement.

“Yeah, they think there should be a rule change,” Josh Heupel said while speaking about the referees.

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11 Responses

  1. The officiating of the game was horrible! Tennessee was robbed for sure! The final call was definitely wrong! It was a touchdown!!!??. This should be reviewed and the Call reversed! The number of fake injuries on the part of Purdue was crazy! There needs to be a rule that the players have to sit out for several plays! Go BIG Orange! So proud of these guys!!!????

  2. It was clearly a blatant abuse of power by the so called “refs”. Why did Purdue defenders continue to defend if the play was dead? Ironically, the defender was actually enabling the continuation of the progress. This will be discussed and replayed for years to come. Up to that point, it was the most exciting game of all the bowls. Let’s pick a neutral and play that overtime once more!

  3. The game was not lost on the goal bad call by officials. Ther were way too many bad officiating calls the entire night. Let’s start with the 2 70 yard touchdowns where the receiver for purdoo clearly pushed off, both no-calls. On that subject, Vols were flagged for 6, yes 6 pass interference. The ACC CROOKS miss the spot on numerous plays, always in favor of pardoo Just to add a liitle fuel to the fire, near the end of regulation, Cedric Tillman blew by the defender, the defender grabbed his jersey, stretched his jersey 3 to 4 feet. NO CALL FOR PI. yes, the ACC non-officials were horrible bu, the VOLS fought to the end. Too bad these things happened but, to add a little more fuel, purdoo’s coach chose to cheat (no better explanation) by having his players FAKE injuries to delay TENNESSEE’S momentum! Overall, shame on the purdoo team, coaches, & their ACC refs

  4. Is it cheating when a team hurries to line up trying to catch the other team not ready? Is it cheating when a player says his leg hurts and he wants to rest a play? I don’t like either one but both are legal by rules. And what’s up with all this whining and blaming refs ever time Tn loses. No wonder nobody likes Tn.

  5. You give up 650 yds of offense you don’t deserve to win ! More than just that one play cost you the game !

  6. Neutral? Tennessee IN Tennessee is “neutral”? If you were watching the game the referee HAD signaled that the play was over. Purdue defense continued to play because that is what you are taught to do. Tennessee player didn’t move his arm to the goal line till the ref was halfway to them!

  7. LOL!!! I’m pretty sure… no wait… I’m 100% sure the refs made bad calls that went BOTH ways! You need to take away your tunnel vision and not be one sided and be a true football fan!! Yes PURDUE did get away from a couple pass interference/holding calls.. and maybe 1 or 2 of the 6 called against Tennessee were bad calls. BUT.. how many offensive holding calls did the refs miss on Tennessee’s offensive line?? Or do you pay attention to that? Probably not! YES the officials were bad but BOTH WAYS! Yes PURDUE took advantage of some “so called” injuries but guess what.. its not a rule yet so why not delay the game to stop the bleeding? Its not cheating!! Both teams fought to the end. PURDUE played players that haven’t played all season due to injuries or opting out for the NFL. This was a Bowl game that wasn’t for a major title! Both teams gained experience for next season! Best of luck to Tennessee next year! Until then..BOILER UP!!!!!!

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