James Franklin passionately responds to allegations from Iowa fans that Penn State players faked injuries
James Franklin has never been someone who’s been short of passion on and off the football field.
The Nittany Lions hit a brief speed bump in their College Football Playoff — and Big Ten East hopes — in the form of a 23-20 loss to Iowa on Oct. 9 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. They currently are in the midst of an open week before hosting Illinois on Oct. 23.
During the game at Iowa, Hawkeyes fans booed Nittany Lions defensive players they felt were faking injuries to slow Iowa down, to which Franklin responded by stating that they had no reason to do so since the Hawkeyes don’t run a quick offense in the first place. Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz defended his fanbase on Tuesday.
“Our fans aren’t stupid…they know what’s going on,” Ferentz said. “I’ve been here 23 years and I think that’s only the second time we’ve seen that kind of stuff going on.”
On Wednesday, Franklin addressed the situation once more and was fired up, to say the least, especially with the news that one of his star linebackers, PJ Mustipher, was lost for the season.
“Would it be strategic for us to tell (him) to go down and fake an injury? One of our best players, one of our starters, one of our captains — does that make sense?” he asked rhetorically. “If you’re going to do it, you wouldn’t do it with your starter, your captain.”
Franklin then ran down a list of players that were booed, including those that weren’t able to return to the game after leaving.
“It was a physical game. Was there a bunch of injuries? I get it,” he continued. “How it may have looked, I get it. I’m telling you we don’t coach it (and) we don’t teach it.”
— Onward State (@OnwardState) October 13, 2021