Iowa's Kirk Ferentz: Fans 'Smelled a Rat' amid Claims of PSU Players Faking Injuries

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVOctober 12, 2021

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz look son before his team takes the field during an NCAA college football game against Maryland, Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, in College Park, Md. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz understands why fans were booing Penn State players who went down with injuries in Saturday's game, indicating some were faking it.

"Nobody wants to see anybody get hurt," the coach told reporters Tuesday. "But I think probably [the booing] is a reaction to, there were a couple of guys that 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."

Iowa's 23-20 win over Penn State featured several injuries, with quarterback Sean Clifford notably leaving the game in the second quarter without returning. The home fans at Kinnick Stadium still took issue with the stoppages, especially from those who returned quickly.

"Our fans thought they smelled a rat, I guess, I don't know, so they responded the way they responded," Ferentz said.

Penn State head coach James Franklin denied after the game that his team was faking injuries.

"They don't run a tempo offense. It was not part of our plan," he said. "... 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."

Ferentz said the American Football Coaches Association hopes the NCAA will look into potential rule changes that would stop teams from faking injuries to help slow the momentum of offenses. The coach said two current staff members worked on teams that encouraged the practice and had code words for when to do it.

Some Iowa fans clearly believed Penn State was faking injuries on Saturday.  


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