this "excessive"?

It doesn’t look like it to me, but it cost them a touchdown

Doesn’t look like it to me either. But according a former NFL referee, it was the right call.

His explanation makes sense. He explained the rule as written, which is how it should be called. He also said that high-stepping is specifically cited as an example in that rule.

That’s another one of those where you can disagree with the rule if you want, but it’s pretty clear and he should have known.

I must be misremembering something. I thought you weren’t allowed to return an interception the other direction in college FB.