Big Ten: Devon Mitchell
September, 17, 2009
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
A secondary knows it has things rolling when two of its members have a conversation like the one Tyler Sash and Brett Greenwood had on the Iowa bench last Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium.
Iowa led 28-3 over Iowa State, and both Sash and Greenwood had recorded two interceptions against Cyclones quarterback Austen Arnaud. As the two safeties took a few moments to relax and celebrate a big day, Sash turned to Greenwood.
|Stephen Mally/Icon SMI|
|Tyler Sash had three interceptions in the Hawkeyes' win over Iowa State.|
Sash admits one of his picks should have gone to Greenwood, but he's not about to give it back. The two players tentatively scheduled a dinner date for Monday night.
“He told me he was going to buy me a quarter-pounder or something, but I don’t think coach [Chris] Doyle, our strength coach, would like that," Sash said. "So it’ll probably be something a little healthier."
Opposing quarterbacks and ball carriers are always on the menu for Iowa, which led the Big Ten in takeaways last fall (32) and already has a league-high seven in the first two games. Sash and teammate Pat Angerer shared the league lead in interceptions with three in 2008, and Sash's three picks against Iowa State tied a single-game team record.
He's tied for second nationally in interceptions and needs just 10 picks to tie the team career record of 18 shared by Nile Kinnick and Devon Mitchell.
Defensive coordinator Norm Parker can't explain the spike in takeaways, and neither can head coach Kirk Ferentz. Angerer admits he didn't play much pass coverage in high school but was always around the ball last season.
"We just practice hard, play hard and things happen," Sash said. "We, as a team, try to be around the ball, if it’s fumbles, fumble recoveries, interceptions, whatever it is. There’s really no answer to that."
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final West Virginia 40 Maryland 37 Final Indiana 42 Bowling Green 45 Final Kent State 0 22 Ohio State 66 Final Miami (OH) 10 Michigan 34 Final Iowa State 20 Iowa 17 Final Minnesota 7 TCU 30 Final Illinois 19 Washington 44 Final Purdue 14 11 Notre Dame 30 Final Penn State 13 Rutgers 10 Final Nebraska 55 Fresno State 19