Before the college football season started, ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit reported that some teams were practicing the "art" of fake injuries in an effort to slow down the no-huddle offense (h/t Jon Solomon of AL.com).
It didn't take long for one such instance to occur, and it just so happened to be in the game Herbstreit was calling.
After Clemson's 38-35 victory over Georgia, a video surfaced of Bulldogs players looking to the sideline, receiving instructions, then purposely dropping to the ground:
The player in question is No. 84 Leonard Floyd, a true freshman defensive end who was playing his first career game. But veteran cornerback Damian Swann, No. 5, also appears to receive the sign and waves Floyd to the ground.
Though not illegal—since it's almost impossible to enforce—the concept of faking injuries is definitely frowned upon. It's deceitful and it compromises the integrity of players that are actually hurt.
But as the no-huddle offense continues to agitate college football, it's a practice that might become more and more commonplace. Coaches like Nick Saban and Bret Bielema have lobbied for rules that would help slow down the pace of play, but if those pleas continue to fall on deaf ears, this will be many teams' reaction.
Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris, the highest-paid assistant in the country, is revered for his innovative no-huddle approach, so he might have to get used to these tactics. The last uptempo offensive "genius" in college football was Chip Kelly, and his Oregon teams were no stranger to fraudulent stoppages:
Whatever Georgia was doing last night, it didn't much help. The Run n' Gun Tigers finished with 467 yards of total offense and 38 points, handing No. 5 Georgia a defeat in its first game of the season.
The wound of that loss is still fresh in Athens, and this video might pour salt in it.