The Penn State Nittany Lions were unable to overcome the loss of starting quarterback Sean Clifford to an injury in this past Saturday's 23-20 defeat at the Iowa Hawkeyes. As The Athletic's Scott Dochterman and ESPN's Adam Rittenberg explained, however, some Iowa fans booed when Penn State defensive players required medical attention that stopped the action, presumably because they believed those athletes were intentionally trying to halt Iowa's offensive momentum.
On Tuesday, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said he knows some of the PSU players were legitimately injured but added he can understand the emotions felt by those who booed.
"Obviously, I know the quarterback didn’t come back," Ferentz told reporters about the situation. "I hope those guys are well. I don’t know what their status is. Nobody wants to see anyone get hurt. Nobody. But I think it’s probably a reaction to a couple of guys that were down for the count then came back a play or two later. Our fans aren’t stupid. They’re watching, they know what’s going on."
He continued that he doesn't teach the practice of faking injuries or use "code words" for such actions and said: "But our fans thought they smelled a rat, I guess, I don’t know, and they responded the way they responded."
Per Dochterman, Fox commentator Joel Klatt suggested during the contest that Iowa fans assumed at least some of the supposed Penn State injuries were bogus. However, PSU head coach James Franklin insisted after the matchup that the Nittany Lions didn't use such tactics because Iowa doesn't "run a tempo offense."
Back in February, the American Football Coaches Association asked the NCAA to address teams allegedly having players fake injuries to obtain advantages during games.