Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison on Tuesday fired back at Nebraska coach Bo Pelini, who suggested during his Monday news conference that opposing defenders are faking injuries when the Cornhuskers are in their no-huddle offense.
“I never have and we never will have somebody fake an injury,” Mattison said. “For someone to even say that, to me, is absurd. But, I guess if that's what people feel then that's fine.”
To be fair, Pelini didn’t specifically say it was the Wolverines. But his comments did come two days after Michigan had whipped Nebraska 45-17.
Mattison assumed that if Pelini’s statement were directed at the Wolverines, he might have been describing a play on which junior safety Jordan Kovacs went down.
Kovacs had recently been held out of practice and out of Michigan’s game against Purdue because of a knee injury.
“Jordan Kovacs would never do something that was not ethical or was not part of what Michigan teaches,” Mattison said.
Pelini said during his news conference that it would make sense for an injured player to have to sit out the entire series if he were to go down with an injury.
Mattison said Kovacs did the right thing by staying down with his injury and stopping the game clock.
"If a guy's injured and he's trying to limp off the field, he's trying to drag a leg to get off the field, don't hurry and hurt yourself more doing that,” Mattison said. “He did the right thing. We tell every one of our players that: Do not try and run off the field when you're injured. You could hurt yourself worse.
Nebraska’s offensive coordinator Tim Beck agreed with Pelini and stated that he believed faking injuries seemed to be a trend.
"There's no rule against it,” Pelini said. “We don't do it. Some people choose to. What are you going to do?"