After Lamar Jackson’s fourth-quarter interception turned into a game-winning drive for Nebraska on Saturday, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said he wished he could throw a challenge flag for pass interference, like a new rule introduced in the NFL this fall.
“It’s a big play in the game,” Fitzgerald said. “I’d like to be able to throw a red flag. Wouldn’t that have been cool? I probably would have won that.”
Wildcats quarterback Aidan Smith threw for Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman over the middle, but Bowman was rerouted by Nebraska inside linebacker Will Honas, and it looks clear on the television broadcast that the contact came after Smith had thrown the ball.
Nebraska coach Scott Frost was asked Monday if he would support the ability to challenge pass interference calls at the college level, and Frost said he didn’t think it was a good idea, regardless of what happened on Saturday.
“No, I watched the (Dallas Cowboys against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday afternoon) and I’m not sure the red flag is a very good idea,” Frost said. “Every time we try to solve one problem by fixing something, it creates more problems. Watching the NFL game, I don’t think I’ve seen an overturned pass interference call.”
Indeed, NFL officials have been reluctant to change the field rulings on interference so far this season, even in some instances where either an offensive or defensive player was clearly kept from playing the ball.
“There are too many stoppages, too many TV timeouts, I think, for my liking right now,” Frost said. “We all complain about a call here and a call there, but for the most part, the referees are doing a really good job in our league and they know what they’re doing.
“Honestly, a couple of the calls I disagreed with the most in my time here were ones that have gone to replay, so I’m not sure if they always get it right. So I would prefer to keep the game the way it is.”