James Franklin, Penn State's head coach, retorted Wednesday against claims that his players feigned injuries in Saturday's 23-20 defeat to Iowa. He said that this strategy "hasn't shown up" over his 12 years of coaching.
Franklin was asked by a reporter how he felt about Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz's claim earlier this week that some Penn State athletes weren't really hurt. Franklin reached for a piece of paper in his pocket and wrote some thoughts about it.
"How does this strategy work against a huddle group?" Franklin stated. This strategy is used to slow down people. Spread offenses, tempo offenses. They huddle together. This strategy was not appropriate in this instance. That strategy has never worked in this situation. Is that something anyone has ever seen? Has anyone ever seen this in my eight years of coaching? Is that what Penn State has seen? Has it been there in my 12 years of coaching? It hasn't."
Franklin spoke for 12 minutes to local media after practice. He said that PJ Mustipher, senior defensive tackle, and team captain, suffered a season-ending injury in the match against Iowa. Mustipher recorded 21 total tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and 1 sack in this season's season.
Franklin advised, "Put yourself in the shoes of an adult." "Your son is injured and is being booed by the stadium. ... Your son is on the field injured. I just informed you that PJ Mustipher has been retired for the year. We are booing. That's good news for college football.
Franklin declined to provide any specific information on the injury of quarterback Sean Clifford. He left the game against Iowa in the second quarter. However, it is not a season-ending injury or the school would have made that announcement. Franklin stated that Ta'Quan Roberson (Christian Veilleux) have been split reps this week but "nothing is decided or determined."
Franklin stated, "It's part and parcel of the game." "Sean has had problems in the past. He is doing all he can to get his life back on track as quickly as possible. He's not the only one dealing with this situation at quarterback.
Franklin's statements that no one was faking injuries were made after Ferentz had acknowledged some injuries to Penn State players, but also challenged the legitimacy of other claims.
Ferentz stated that "Nobody wants anyone to get hurt." Our fans don't think so. They are watching and they know what's happening.
"I've been here for 23 years, and this is only the second time that we've seen such a thing."
Franklin claimed that the defense of the Nittany Lions was playing "lights-out," and asserted there was no reason to slow down their momentum by pretending to hurt.
He said, "Our defense was great." "We won the ball at the five yard line and held them to a field goal. Check it out. I have tremendous respect for the University of Iowa and I have tremendous respect for their fans. It was a difficult game in a difficult environment. I don't make excuses. I just state the facts as I see them.