SI.com’s Stuart Mandel twaggered this video of a Cal defensive lineman taken from their loss against Oregon Saturday. We can see Aaron Tipoti apparently faking a leg injury after looking over to his team’s sideline.
“I know any time anybody goes down against Oregon, (Duck fans) always think that’s the case, but it’s not the case,” Cal coach Jeff Tedford said when asked if the injuries were faked.
However, a source within the Bears football program confirmed to The Oregonian that this indeed was “a big part” of the defensive game plan against Oregon, although not all Cal coaches were on board with this strategy.
The idea, of course, is to give the defense a rest while disrupting an Oregon offense that heavily relies on rhythm.
Is anyone surprised about this? Half the reason that the Ducks are so good is that they’re almost a track team in helmets. If you allow teams to substitute during an injury timeout, then the incentive to go all Euro is there for everyone. Granted, most teams’ defenses only need to swap out an interior lineman for a nickelback to improve their third down look, but forbidding any other substitutions during an injury timeout would go a long way. Or at least throw the flag whenever the guy falls onto the ball.