Big Ten: Devon Mitchell

Iowa's Sash leads takeaway parade

September, 17, 2009
9/17/09
1:00
PM ET

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.
"On the bench, I said, ‘If I get another one, you owe me dinner. If you get one, I owe you dinner,’" Sash recalled. "A couple plays later, I got my third one."

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."

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