"These, to me, are not tactical"

The quote in my title is from Joel Klatt of Fox Sports. Many Iowa fans on Saturday night and Sunday morning claimed that Penn State defensive players were faking injuries in order to slow down the Iowa attack. I'm writing this fanpost to discredit those claims. I hope you will find the following without snark and an honest look at the situations that many Iowa fans pointed to as evidence of Penn State deserving the boos they heard in Kinnick Stadium on Saturday.

I'd like to start with Joel Klatt. Many Iowa fans used his conversation on air as evidence, stating things like "even the announcer pointed out that they were faking injuries". This comment occurred at roughly 2 hours and 37 minutes into the game (I watched the replay on my youtube tv account so times may vary slightly) or at 5:28 left in the third quarter. I even saw some Penn State fans upset at Mr. Klatt's comments. However, if you listen to his entire comment, Joel Klatt explains that Iowa fans are perceiving this to be on purpose, but that it "doesn't appear to be" on purpose and "these, to me, are not tactical". He explains that the guys who have been hurt (Mustipher, Brisker, and now AK) are Penn State's best players and not guys that would be asked to 'go down' for a free timeout.

I'd like to stick with the AK injury now, because many Iowa fans have suggested that AK was in a play that involved little contact before going down. Iowa fans would be correct, AK does play a minor role in a hand fight behind the play. However, the thing that Iowa fans (and Iowa's special team's coach) miss is that AK actually was hurt on the previous play, attempts to tough it out, and clearly sees his ineffectiveness on the next play as a reason to leave the field. Below, I have an image of the injury (he limps several times after the play). You'll notice that this injury is a full 20 seconds before he goes down to receive medical aid after the following play. My apologies for poor quality, youtube tv doesn't allow me to screengrab so I had to take this with my phone's camera.

Finally, I'd like to address the issue that these boos started because of the high number of Penn State injuries. If the booing that followed AK's injury in the third quarter were the first boos we heard that day, it would go a long way to back up that theory. However, Iowa fans began booing before the actual game began. The crowd boo'd Penn State's kicker when the ball fell off the tee before the opening kick. The Iowa fans also booed Mustipher's game ending injury that occurred just 1:53 into the game. Brisker's injury with 3:16 left in the first quarter also shows how early and often the Iowa fans were booing Penn State players that were injured.

To recap, we saw members of a fanbase that began to boo Penn State players almost immediately upon the start of play for any and every defensive injury during the game. The injuries were real, several players not returning, and even players that did return were clearly showing signs of distress. The national television broadcast even suggested that these injuries were in fact real and questioned the strategy of forcing your best players to fake injuries. I think that it is quite apparent that Penn State players were not faking injuries and that the boos they received were unfounded and uncalled for.

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