Penn State coach James Franklin questioned the boos he heard at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa on Saturday after his players were injured, saying he “doesn’t think it’s the right one thing for college football “.
Penn State lost five players to injury, including two starters, in their 23-20 loss to the Hawkeyes. The biggest injuries were inflicted on quarterback Sean Clifford and defensive tackle PJ Mustipher, both of whom left the game in the first half and did not return.
Franklin said five players (Clifford, Mustipher, running backs John Lovett and Devyn Ford and goalkeeper Jonathan Sutherland) left the game with injuries. He did not discuss the injuries further and set no timetable for the players’ returns.
Meanwhile, several Penn State players, including main defensive starters Arnold Ebiketie and Jaquan Brisker, have been slow to recover from plays on other occasions, but have returned. The crowd booed some of those moments, and Franklin said he saw similar reactions from Iowa.
“I have a little trouble with our players getting injured and the fans, coaches and staff booing our players,” Franklin told reporters at Kinnick Stadium after the game. “… It wasn’t part of our plan. Obviously we didn’t want Cliff, PJ, Lovett, Ford and Sutherland, guys who play a big role in football for us, to get injured.”
Injuries, particularly to Clifford and Mustipher, have forced Penn State to change their game plan, especially on offense. Plus, after losing two running backs, Penn State’s offense was limited to just two running backs in Noah Cain and Keyvone Lee.
Franklin cited the “next man on top” philosophy, but added that he was responsible for preparing those backups.
“We weren’t ready for that on the road,” Franklin said in his post-game media session. “We didn’t do a good job. It starts with me. I didn’t have the guys ready for this.”
Franklin added that since Iowa does not use an attacking tempo philosophy, he has not asked the players to stay on the court to slow the pace of the game. “For all of the people of Iowa, it was not part of our plan, ”Franklin said. “He would not be.”
Penn State (5-1) had been relatively lucky in injury terms before the game against Iowa. The Lions have a week off before returning home to host Illinois on October 23.
“We’ve had guys who got injured, and I just don’t know if I necessarily agree, I don’t think that’s the right thing for college football, booing guys when they get injured, what be it, ”Franklin said. “If one of these kids was badly hurt and you boo it, I have a hard time with that. But I have my own issues to deal with.”
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz was not asked specifically about the boos, but praised fans for creating a difficult atmosphere in which to play. The Penn State offense committed eight false start penalties, including three consecutive, after Roberson entered the game.
Fans stormed the pitch after the game.
“Our fans have done a great job,” Ferentz said. “They were in the game. We knew they would be ready to go early on. They were more ready than us.
“… They’re smart footballers. Iowa football fans have always been smart. They know when to cheer. They’ve always enjoyed defense. It’s my 30+ here, which means they are smart because, especially in these days, nobody really cares about defense. But they’re smart. “
Quick reaction: Iowa 23, Penn State 20
Injured first half quarterback Sean Clifford fails to return