After practice on Wednesday, James Franklin addressed Kirk Ferentz’s comments (although not directly) on the Iowa fans “smelling a rat” when it came to a string of injuries on the Penn State defense during their matchup on Saturday. James Franklin came to his post-practice presser with a full note sheet on why “faking injuries” doesn’t make sense schematically, and why booing players that are hurt is bad for College Football.
The first reason Franklin points out is that it makes zero sense to fake injuries in this situation. Iowa is a huddle team that doesn’t go uptempo. Then points out that his teams have played Iowa six years in a row (going 4-2) and they have never faked an injury in any of those games. Then urges people to look back at any of his teams to try and find an example of them “going down” to try and slump an offense.
The next reason mentioned is that the Nittany Lion defense was playing “lights out”. Penn State’s defense held down Iowa’s offense for as long as they could, even with a slew of injuries. Would it make sense for Penn State to tell guys to leave the game, when they are having a great day against the Hawkeyes offense?
James Franklin then asks the Iowa fans to be “in the shoes of a parent”. How would you feel if it was your son on the turf, and they are being booed? “Is that good for College Football!?” Franklin yells. He also mentions how fans were displeased with the ball falling off the tee during the kickoff.
Lastly, Coach Franklin goes through the injuries that took place in the game. Why on earth would Penn State want PJ Mustipher (now out for the season), D’von Ellies(Mustipher’s backup), Jonathon Sutherland (captain), Jaquan Brisker (star players who has had shoulder issues since Wisconsin), and Arnold “AK” Ebiketie (maybe their best defensive player) to be taken out of the game? Not the best game plan for key players, and a second-string guy(prompting a third-stringer to enter) to be faking an injury. 70% of the Nittany Lion’s who went down with injuries never returned to action.
He ends the almost 5-minute response reiterating that he has a ton of respect for Iowa and their football program. He understands how it may have looked, but this isn’t right for College Football.
Second portion of James Franklin’s comments. pic.twitter.com/ck7uiP869x
— Ben Jones (@Ben_Jones88) October 13, 2021