Penn State suffered a plethora of injuries in its 23-20 loss to Iowa in one of last week’s marquee college football games, but Hawkeye fans didn’t think they were all legitimate . This led to the Nittany Lions players being overwhelmed by a chorus of boos when they fell as Saturday’s game dragged on.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz sympathized with some of the injured players, including Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford. However, he also intervened to defend his fans and criticized the practices of the Nittany Lions.
“I hope these guys are okay, I don’t know what their status is,” Ferentz said, according to ESPN. “No one wants to see someone get hurt. But I think probably [the booing] is a reaction to, there were a few guys who were down for the account and then were back a room or two later. Our fans are not stupid. They watch, they know what’s going on.
“I’ve been here for 23 years and I think it’s only the second time we’ve seen this kind of thing happen.”
BENDER: College Football Playoff, bowl predictions for 2021
Ferentz explained that faking injuries is part of the game plan for some programs, although Iowa rarely addressed it. He noted that two unidentified Iowa staff were from programs that used code words to bring down their players at different times throughout games.
“We don’t train it, we haven’t really been exposed to it,” Ferentz said. “But our fans thought they smelled like a rat [on Saturday], I guess, I don’t know, so they answered like they answered. “
COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 7: Picks against the spread, predictions
Penn State coach James Franklin didn’t like that response. He took the boos personally and claimed it was not part of Penn State’s strategy as they were looking for a win over Iowa on the road.
“I have a bit of trouble with our players getting injured and the [Iowa] fans, coaches and staff booing our players, ”Franklin said. “For all the people of Iowa, that was not part of our plan. He would not be. You are not performing a tempo violation. We’ve had guys who got hurt, and I don’t know if I necessarily agree. I don’t think that’s the right thing for college football, booing guys when they get injured no matter what. “
MORE: College Football Winners and Losers Week 6
That should create a bit of a misunderstanding between Penn State and Iowa before their next meeting. It won’t be until 2023, unless both teams reach the Big Ten title game this year or next. Iowa (6-0) currently leads the Big Ten West Division while Penn State is behind Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State in the East Division.