‘Fans smelled a rat:’ Iowa coach defends fans booing injured PSU players

Nittany Nation

IOWA CITY, IA (WTAJ) — Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz stood behind the rain of “boos” slung at injured Penn State football players Saturday night, accusing Penn State of faking injuries.

“There were a couple of guys who were down for the count and then were back a play or two later. Our fans aren’t stupid. They’re watching. They know what’s going on,” Ferentz said Tuesday during his weekly availability. “I’ve been here 23 years. I think that’s only the second time we’ve seen that kind of stuff going on.”

Ferentz backed Iowa’s fans after Penn State head coach James Franklin criticized them following Iowa’s 23-20 win Saturday.

“We had some guys get injured, and I just don’t know if I necessarily agree, I don’t think that’s the right thing for college football, booing guys when they get hurt, however it looks,” Franklin said.

“To all the Iowa people out there, that was not part of our plan,” he added. “It would not be. You don’t run a tempo offense.”

Faking injuries has been utilized by teams in college football in the past to slow up-tempo systems. Ferentz even admitted there are coaches on their staff who’ve worked at schools that employed the strategy.

“I know it’s a topic nationally right now. It was one of the discussions of the rules makers, nobody knows the answer to it,” he said. “We don’t coach it, we haven’t been exposed to it, but our fans thought they smelled a rat, I guess.”

In the loss Penn State finished the game without Sean Clifford, PJ Mustipher, John Lovett, Jonathan Sutherland, and Devyn Ford, while Jaquan Brisker and Arnold Ebiketie, two players who have struggled with injuries this season, both missed time.

In this video, Iowa’s coaches can be seen mocking Ebiketie who was slow to get up after a play.

There has been no update on the health of Penn State’s injured players, though a cryptic Instgram post from Sean Clifford may suggest the Nittany Lions’ quarterback avoided a serious injury. Alongside a photo, Clifford wrote “In life, moments will come and go. Trials will come and go. It’s the memories with the people around you that live forever. Time to create more memories.”

Penn State is off Saturday, and returns home in two weeks to host Illinois.

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