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Posted on Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:33 p.m.

Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison says it's 'absurd' for people to say his players fake injuries

By Kyle Meinke


Michigan safety Jordan Kovacs tries to bring down Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez.

Melanie Maxwell |

Did Jordan Kovacs fake an injury to slow down the Nebraska offense?

Cornhuskers coach Bo Pelini has expressed concern this week about the increasing number of players who fake injuries. He did not refer to the Michigan football team in particular, although he clearly was unhappy his offense was slowed multiple times by injured players.

Michigan beat Nebraska 45-17 last weekend.

"I think it has been pretty obvious at times, but it obviously hasn't been to the referees," Pelini told reporters Monday at his weekly news conference. "What are you gonna do? Sometimes your hands are tied. I don't know what the answer is to that."

Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, asked about Pelini's comments, became visibly upset.

"I better not talk too much about that," he said. "The only thing I can tell you is we never have and we never will have someone fake an injury, and for somebody to even say that, to me, is absurd."

Mattison said he thinks Pelini is talking about Kovacs, who went down with an injury after tackling tailback Ameer Abdullah. The safety, who missed the Purdue game four weeks ago with a knee injury, originally stood up after the play, but went back to the ground and was helped off the field by trainers.

He returned a series later.

Mattison denied Kovacs feigned injury to slow the Cornhuskers' offense.

"Jordan Kovacs would never do something that was not ethical, or was not part of what Michigan teaches," Mattison said. "Whatever a guy wants to comment, a guy can comment, I don't care about that.

"We don't substitute for Jordan Kovacs, he's never raised his hand and said, 'I'm tired.' So, he was hurt. That knee or whatever it was, he did the right thing."

Mattison said Michigan teaches its players to go to the ground if there's a chance they could further hurt themselves by trying to get off the field before the next play.

Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez said after the game the frequent stopages in play hurt the Cornhuskers.

"Just the turnovers, and then the injuries with them, it just kept throwing us off," Martinez said. "It kind of took the momentum out of the offense because we’d get going, then someone on their team would get injured, and it stopped us with all the momentum.”

The NCAA football rulebook states, "feigning injury is dishonest, unsportsmanlike and contrary to the spirit of the rules," but does not prescribe a punishment for teams caught in the act.

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Thu, Nov 24, 2011 : 1:07 a.m.

Bo P.'s comment is more whining and deflecting of blame. Does he really believe that ANYONE with any understanding of football would think that a team would have one of its LEADING TACKLERS, one of its DEFENSIVE LEADERS, fake an injury and sit out a whole series of plays when the opposition is gaining momentum just to slow them down instead of calling a time out? A third string sub, maybe. Taking a key defensive player off the field is rediculous. A better candidate for faking an injury is the Neb punter - unexpected field position for his defense, not going back into the game for a while anyway...


Thu, Nov 24, 2011 : 1:12 a.m.

I really did mean to write "rediculous" instead of the proper "ridiculous". In honor of big red...


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 3:43 a.m.

How about the Nebraska punter Pelini?

Berda Green

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 1:50 a.m.

hope he didnt


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 1:16 a.m.

I for one don't believe a word Mattison said. Anyone whose even remotely experienced with this "Game" knows full well that this is something teams....ALL Teams do, including the great and powerful University of Oz.

Terry Star21

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 1:22 a.m.

Ha, ha - thank you, I needed a good joke today !


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 12:58 a.m.

It is possible that Nebraska is finding it somewhat more difficult to win int he Big Ten than they thought, and are just making excuses for getting their clock cleaned.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 12:07 a.m.

45 - 27 'nuff said.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 12:07 a.m.

Oppps, fat fingered it. 17 So I guess more needed to be said after all.

Lorain Steelmen

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 10:24 p.m.

Guys, (aka, Mattison), we all need to forget Nebraska at this point, and concentrate totally, on the next game. Bo Pelini got his pants pulled down, on national tv, and his ego requires that he point fingers, and shift the blame to someone else. (Naturally, that nasty 'ol Mattison, was to blame, and that rotten kid, Kovachs.) C'mon Bo, the kid is a walk-on, from Oregon Clay HS, for cryin' out loud. You can come up with better than that, can't you?!) If the truth be told, UM needs help to score 45 points, and the Huskers were unable to hang onto the darn ball. Your special teams helped out as well by roughing a kicker which enabled the UM offense to keep a drive going and stay on the field. Speaking of 'staying on the field', the Wolverine offense was on the field over 41 minutes last saturday. And as tough as he is, Kovachs doesn't get much PT with the UM offense, although I think the world of the kid, he's only playing 'one way'. Note to Bo, I'd button it up, and start looking at some Hawkeye film, if I were you. I'm sure Kirk has been looking at your UM game film, and remembering that he's already knocked off UM. I'll bet he's probably getting excited about taveling to Lincoln. (You're not in the Big 12 anymore, Bo....its' November, and this is the Big Ten)

David Vande Bunte

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 10:21 p.m.

If faking injuries was worth 28 points, everyone would be doing it, Mr. Pelini.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 12:08 a.m.

Well said!


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 10:19 p.m.

Sounds like the vogue in the big ten is blame the other team for faking injuries after a loss. Iowa's claim against MSU last week. Nebraska's claim against U of M this week.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 3:10 a.m.

If that isn't the pot calling the kettle black? Did you post on here after the MSU beat down?

Billy Bob Schwartz

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 12:14 a.m.

Too much pressure. It's only a game. (hahaha...just kidding!) These guys are crybabies pure and, well, quite simple. They couldn't lose a fair game, so it must have been stolen by cheating. Pathetic.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 10:14 p.m.

1) Even I agree... there would have been no significant benefit to Blue slowing down the pace of the game with fake injuries. Gotta go with you guys over the Huskers on this one. 2) ERMG: "Channelling your inner 'Woody'?" I got a chuckle out of that one. I'm a great fan of Hayes, but frankly, I never understood the shirtsleaves in November.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 12:12 a.m.

Lorain...I was at that game. It was great. Not only did Woody tear the material off the marker, but he stomped it into oblivion! To me, it looked like the guy was just experiencing terminal meltdown!


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 12:11 a.m.

Well folks, we might be wearing polo shirts as well on Saturday if the clouds and rain holds off until well after the game because we might be around 60 degrees. Think of SEC weather in B1G country on this one.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 12:07 a.m.

Oh yeah! I remember that '71 game so well. That was water-cooler fodder for days afterwards.

Lorain Steelmen

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 10:37 p.m.

Yep, Woody was definitely a master at getting in people's heads. I grew up in ohio, in the early 60's, and 'ol Woody, was larger than life. I remember years later in '71, as student at UM, when Tom Darden (from Sandusky, OH), intercepted a pass, to end an osu threat, in AA. Woody went totally orbital, tearing up downs markers and storming the field. As Bo later commented, he knew, Woody understood that game was lost, but was already starting to pysch his team for the following year's game at the Shoe in Columbus. The guys was ALWAYS playing mind games.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 10:24 p.m.

When I was a kid in the mid 1960s, an assistant football coach at the UM came to my HS football banquet as the guest speaker. Sorry--don't recall who he was. Anyway, half of his talk was about Woody in shirtsleeves in November. Clearly Woody was in his head. And I think that was the point. GN&GL


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 10 p.m.

Sounds like sour grapes from Bo Pelini. If anything, it will add to bulletin board points for the Maize and Blue, next time we play them. (That can wait) Let's move on, let the momentum build and blast the up. GO BLUE!!!

1st Down

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 9:44 p.m.

Bo Pelini is full of excuses. He would make a good DC for Rich Rod in AZ after Nebraska fires him next season. They are perfect for each other.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 11:59 p.m.

He already was a DC for a Michigan Man.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 10:48 p.m.

Yeah, you mean after we go into Lincoln and whoop them again, Lol! Imagine how good our D will be next year with our superior coaching, ha!


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 9:41 p.m.

Just wondering... Does anyone remember how many time play was stopped for an injured Husker? I seem to remember a few of those, too. ;^) Glad we could assist in giving Nebraska a warm welcome the the Big 10!

Jeffy Sklarinsky

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 9:33 p.m.

Check out these amazing pics from the Nebraska game <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> . Bring on ohio this weekend. GO BLUE!


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 10:33 p.m.

Jeff great photos ,I heard about them ,and nice to see them..


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 9:27 p.m.

Kyle good job.. the point here is that Poleni is making excuses for his offense,because of one injury timeout! That doesn't equate in my book when your down 4 TD's.. He was severely out coached at the time by Greg Mattison,and thats the story !! GO BLUE beat duke tonite in Maui and beat that school down south Saturday..


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 9:18 p.m.

My first game was way back in the 60's, so I think I'm qualified to say - Have a few GOOD BEERS and RELAX, people! It'll all work itself out as MICHIGAN always does. LEADERS and BEST!! Count on it. GO BLUE!!

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 9:03 p.m.

Bo Pelini is a jerk. He is a Woody Hayes with neither Hayes' charm nor talent. And, yes, he Hayes could be charming. He made a fool of himself ranting up and down the sideline on Saturday, which was in stark contrast to Hoke's cool and calm demeanor. BTW, speaking of Hoke and Hayes, what do people think of Hoke channeling is &quot;inner Woody&quot; be being in short sleeves in November? Any bets on whether or not he'll be in a polo on Saturday? Good Night and Good Luck


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 8:49 p.m.

I suppose that all the penalties that Nebraska received didn't slow thw game down at all!!


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 8:34 p.m.

Indy, why so harsh ? Kyle has done a good job of reporting overall this season (even though his predictions are a bit off), so why lay it on so strong for a simple mistake ? You need to calm down, and maybe take a nap or something.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 10:41 p.m.

hmm a nap sounds good, I'm sleepy, you boys sleepy?

Terry Star21

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 8:33 p.m.

That's the thing I like about coach Brady Hoke, he would never say something that absurd after a loss. He might ask for an explanation into something that happened - but no accusations against plays/players/coaches. Mattison is a profession, I am a little surprise he even answered. He knows that the better his defense gets the more smack he will hear (dirty play, fake injuries, showboating, etc.). Compare our defense against any other team and our celebrations are modest as others parade around the field after a great play. I am so proud of our defense. MgoBlueForTiM..........a great defense, full of pride and modest


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 10:39 p.m.

Good call Terry, I want scholars and gentlemen playing on our beloved team, these things matter, they truly matter


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 8:30 p.m.

Chris Spielman was saying the same thing on the telecast. He is a terrible announcer for our games, and is obviously biased against Michigan. I would expect it from Spielman, but for Pelini to talk about it is very disappointing and very WEAK ! Yeah, like that would somehow give us a 28 point edge. WEAK Coach Pelini, WEAK !


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 4:10 p.m.

I heard him going on and on about how it appeared that Kovacs was faking the injury.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 2:59 a.m.

Spielman actually said exactly what Hoke said&quot;We teach our kids to stay on the ground if they are hurt&quot;. Of course you didn't hear that did you?


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 11:13 p.m.

maybe Spewman can take over RR's spot at CBS, so we can be rid of him.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 10:36 p.m.

Spewman, haha that's funny and so true so often, typical Buckeyes

1st Down

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 9:48 p.m.

Thanks for reminding me of the idiocy that Spewman displayed with those comments.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 8:20 p.m.

Oh, boo hoo! Sounds like sour grapes to me!


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 8:16 p.m.

IndyWing wrote &quot;Oh, one more thing. Do you even know how many &quot;injuries&quot; Michigan had that stopped play? Take a guess. TWO. There were a grand total of TWO injuries: Kovacs and Brennen Beyer, and both boys came off the field for the remainder of those drives.&quot; I wanted to make sure and get this out because I have a feeling the rest of the comments he made will get deleted. I thought this was in particular a great point and should be indicated because Kyle didn't do his homework entirely, sorry Kyle but I think this was important to point out.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 10:29 p.m.

No Problem Indy, I liked your point and wanted to make sure others saw it, good job buddy


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 9:41 p.m.

Thanks, mick! I just don't know why Kyle would frame an article in such a negative, misleading way against Michigan. I guess you could say I was as upset about this article as Mattison was about Nebraska's bogus accusations.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 8:06 p.m.

Maybe my typing is lamer than all of the above. Hoo boy, I was mad and typed too fast.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 8:06 p.m.

What a joke, this is why I love Hoke, while many people complained about the MSU game and some of the tactics MSU was using during the game and a couple of bad non calls in that game, Hoke never used it as an excuse. Pelini however, and his QB are whining publicly is embarrassing. I don't think Kovacs going down for a minute because of injury was the difference in that game. I think U-M kicking their tail for 4 QT's might have been more of the reason. I'm so happy to have who we have, Go Blue for TiM!!! M 27 ohio 9


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 2:56 a.m.

He doesn't have to make excuses. He has you guys doing it for him. Do you remeber the posts after MSU? How about Iowa? There is not a fan base in this country that whines and cries more than Michigan's. You guys need to take Hoke's lead and Man-up.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 10:34 p.m.

Thanks 1st Down, we are in great hands for sure. It's been a heck of a fun year to watch.

1st Down

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 9:47 p.m.

Excellent points Mick. To this date, almost a full year after Coach Hoke was hired...I have yet to read or hear anything out of his mouth that resembles an excuse or a rationalization. Often, he accepts responsibility publicly for things that didnt go quire right on the field or even blatently wrong. He simply plays on. Great, great man and leader. This is Michigan. No Excuses.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 7:59 p.m.

What irresponsible and sloppy journalism! Did you even watch the game?!? Jordan Kovac was out for the remiander of Nebraska's drive. He did NOT, I repeat, NOT return &quot;a play later.&quot; Pull your head out of your butt before writing to an public audience.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 10:32 p.m.

No problem Kyle, you're a good and honorable man for admitting so. I like your work a lot my man, when is the next chat?

Kyle Meinke

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 9:13 p.m.

Mick, I meant &quot;small difference&quot; as in it was just one word, but meant something entirely different. So, I agree with you.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 8:21 p.m.

Sorry to disagree with you Kyle, but a series and a play is not a small difference, it's a big difference, come on man.

Kyle Meinke

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 8:13 p.m.

Indy, that was supposed to say &quot;series,&quot; not &quot;play.&quot; A small difference, but a difference nonetheless. Thanks for pointing it out. I fixed it.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 7:59 p.m.

Honestly, during the game I thought that Nebraska was faking injuries to slow Michigan...The play that Nebraska is mad about was when Michigan was up by what 3-4 TD's, not like it was an influential play of the game.