Bret Bielema reveals outcome of Johnny Newton's targeting appeal
Bret Bielema and Illinois are currently on a bye week but will come out of the off week for a Week 10 showdown vs. Minnesota. Unfortunately, Bielema confirmed star defensive lineman Johnny Newton will indeed be suspended for the first half of that matchup.
Newton was ejected from the loss to Wisconsin due to targeting. That penalty carries with it a suspension for one-half of action, and Bielema revealed Wednesday that an appeal of the call was denied.
“Already done and denied and it is what it is,” said Bielema about Newton’s appeal.
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As a follow-up, Bielema addressed the officiating in the B1G and admitted he traditionally turns in a handful of plays. That comes in a Sunday evaluation for the head, but he also said a large part of the review is simply a learning process to teach players and sometimes to describe to officials what Bielema is seeing on specific calls.
“I think every coach gets off the field on Saturday and you’re going to see things through a different lens. What I try to do is just take the perspective of hey what do I see in the game, I make an evaluation on Sunday. I would say on a whole we usually turn in 3-5 plays (for review),” said Bielema. “I think some I’ve been surprised by the answer, others I agree, but it really doesn’t matter. All we can use it for is teaching. I literally turn plays in sometimes to teach my guys but also to teach officials in the Big Ten ‘Hey this is what I’m seeing, am I seeing it right?'”
As for Newton’s appeal, Bielema revealed it was a bit different as an NCAA appeal and not related to the B1G’s review process. The ruling undoubtedly hurts, but now Illinois must respond.
“Johnny’s a little bit different because that was an NCAA appeal. That was a formal NCAA process because of him being ejected from the game, so I had a conversation with him last night when I found out,” Bielema explained. “Johnny — you saw how much it hurt him during the course of the game. My appeal was he used his hands in some fashion, but I understand why it got called… We just gotta move forward.”
Newton is a game-wrecking defender and his absence was certainly felt late in the loss against the Badgers. Hopefully, Illinois can weather a first-half storm on the road before Newton returns to the field in Week 10.