If you stayed up late to watch Northwestern beat California 44-30 on Saturday night, you probably noticed that Northwestern players were getting hurt quite often and slowing down the game. You also noticed, thanks to the numerous shots of him on the sideline, that Cal coach Sonny Dykes was not particularly happy about it.
Well, after the game Dykes was careful not to say too much when asked about the Northwestern injuries.
“It affected it [Cal's offense] a lot,” Dykes told reporters during his press conference. “It was just unusual. It seemed like every time we got a first down they had an injury. I hadn't seen that, wasn't expecting to see that, was disappointed that I saw that. But that's the way it goes sometimes.”
Dykes was then asked if he shared the belief of Cal fans who felt that Northwestern was faking the injuries.
"It's probably better that I don't say," responded Dykes.
As you'd expect, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald has no idea what anybody is talking about.
“If anybody were to question the integrity of myself, our program or our players, I question theirs,” Fitzgerald said. “So that's all I say. Our guys get dinged up. They get dinged up, they're instructed to go down. You've never walked in and heard me say that ever, have you? I have a hard time with that. But if our guys get dinged up, they're instructed to go down not hobble of to the sideline.”
Well, Fitz, you're about to question my integrity because I happen to be of the opinion that your players were definitely faking injuries. I mean, when I see a defensive lineman standing up after a play, then I see that same lineman look over to the sideline and immediately lay down after, let's just say I get suspicious.
Of course, even if Northwestern players were embellishing their injuries, while I'm not a fan of the move, I certainly don't begrudge them or the coaching staff for it. Especially when you consider where all of this was taking place.
Let's not forget that it was in 2010 at the very same stadium where Oregon fans were upset with Cal players for faking injuries against the Ducks. They say what goes around comes around, and I guess sometimes it takes three years to do so.