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IOWA CITY — The sellout crowd at Kinnick Stadium was suspicious of Penn State’s multiple injury timeouts.
It caught the attention of many, including Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz.
“Our fans aren't stupid. They're watching; they know what's going on,” Ferentz said Tuesday. “They smelled a rat, I guess.”
He said it wasn’t the first time in his 23 years as a head coach that “we have seen that kind of stuff going on.”
Some of the injuries, Ferentz said, were legitimate, including quarterback Sean Clifford and another player who he saw icing his leg from the opposite sideline.
Others raised more suspicion, though.
“There were a couple guys that were down for the count and then were back a play or two later,” Ferentz said.
Ferentz said he knows the strategy of faking an injury to give the defense a breather exists elsewhere in college football. The Hawkeyes “don’t coach it,” though.
“There are two people in our building that have been places where that was ‘scuba’ or ‘dive’ — no, ‘scuba’ and ‘turtle’ were the code words,” Ferentz said.
Penn State head coach James Franklin saw things differently.
Franklin said in his postgame news conference the high number of injury timeouts “was not part of our plan.”
“I do have a little bit of a hard time with our players getting hurt and the fans and the coaches and the staff booing our players,” Franklin said. “They don’t run a tempo offense.”
Ferentz views the Kinnick crowd as smart. Franklin saw it more as disrespectful.
“I don’t think it’s the right thing for college football — booing guys when they get hurt,” Franklin said.
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