Sash signing in IC to benefit Greenwood

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April 3, 2014 | 2:00 am

I always take calls from Tyler Sash.

He called today and let me know he was going to be in Iowa City this weekend. Here are the details:

"Tyler Sash will be signing autographs at the Coralville Scheels this Friday October 21st from 2:30 to 4:30pm. Autographs will be $1 but all donations are welcome and all proceeds will directly benefit the Brett Greenwood Foundation. Scheels will donate $1 for every autograph."

The $1 is a starting point. Feel free to blow right by that.

Iowa put out a press release yesterday that read:

"On September 9th, Brett Greenwood, a former Hawkeye football player, collapsed during a routine workout. His heart stopped due to an abnormal heart-rhythm, which resulted in injuries to his brain. Brett is recovering and working hard to regain his strength and mobility.

Many have expressed a desire to support Brett in a tangible way. As a result, the Brett Greenwood Foundation has been established to accept contributions that will be used to directly support Brett as he continues to recover.

Individuals who would like to contribute to the Brett Greenwood Foundation can make a donation at any of the 74 Wells Fargo banking stores in Iowa of the 6,300 locations across the nation. Donations also can be made online at www.brettgreenwoodfoundation.com or by mail at attn: Brett Greenwood Foundation, Wells Fargo, 2001 Spruce Hills Dr., Bettendorf, IA 52722."

Here is a link to the Brett Greenwood Foundation website.

Also, of course you remember the "Faith" drawing by Des Moines artist Sean Thompson. I've had it on here a million times (and hey, there it is again below).

The auction was a terrific success last night in Des Moines. The event raised $8,500. You can read more about it here from HawkeyeNation.com's Jon Miller.

Brett was a tough nut to crack in interviews, but when I made him laugh (you see in the videos that I can make Coker laugh, so you know I have this "skill"), it was genuine. This is a genuine Iowan, a self-made player that all of us enjoyed and respected.

"Things are moving forward," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said when asked about Greenwood after Iowa's win Saturday. "We're all very enthused about that.

"We certainly learned to never rule out Brett Greenwood. Great determination, great desire, great will. A guy who did everything right all the time. He's got a little spunk to him, I can promise you that. That's what it takes to go from a walk-on to a four-year starter. He was part of a lot of big wins around here. We're pulling for him, obviously. He's a great young man from a great family."

I think people forget what a good football player Greenwood was.

Here's his Iowa bio:

Tied for sixth with 12 career interceptions . . . totaled 229 career tackles to tie for 41st on career list . . . five interceptions in 2010 led the Big Ten and tied for 22nd nationally . . . started 29 straight games before missing 2009 Northwestern game due to injury . . . one of seven seniors named to 2010 Leadership Group . . . one of four juniors named to 2009 Leadership Group . . . one of three sophomores named to 2008 Leadership Group . . . only redshirt freshman named to 2007 Leadership Group.

Here's the game story I wrote from Iowa State 2009. Greenwood and Sash combined for five interceptions.

AMES -- It was a little "Starsky and Hutch."

Tyler Sash and Brett Greenwood slid over the hood of their red sports car in their leather jackets and busted everything in the air Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium.

It was a little '70s detective show. It was a little of the 2004 movie with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. It was a buddy movie with each star taking a turn in front of the camera.

"I'm probably the Ben Stiller. He's more of the Owen Wilson type," said Greenwood as he pointed at Sash.

Starsky and Hutch. Sash and Greenwood. Interception and pick.

"A little bit," Sash said of the "Starsky and Hutch" reference. "You could say that if you want."

The veteran safeties led the charge, picking off five passes and setting the table for the Hawkeyes (2-0) to convert six Cyclone turnovers into 21 points in Iowa's 35-3 rout before 52,089.

Quarterback Ricky Stanzi brushed off two first-half interceptions and finished with a career-high four TD passes. True freshman running back Brandon Wegher wowed with 101 yards on 15 carries, a 1-yard TD and a one-handed catch of a screen pass that pumped life into a sputtering Iowa offense.

The Hawkeyes stretched their legs after running the whole race and then some last week.

"I'm just glad we won," Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said simply.

Iowa took a 14-3 halftime lead when it scored after Greenwood tipped a pass to Sash, who ended up with three interceptions. Then to begin the third quarter, Iowa State tailback Alexander Robinson fumbled and quarterback Austen Arnaud was picked by Greenwood, his second.

The Hawkeyes turned both into touchdowns and that was it. The Hawkeyes retained the Cy-Hawk Trophy and won in Ames for the first time since 2003. A 7-3 struggle bloomed into a 28-3 runaway during that late-second and early-third quarter pick, fumble and pick.

"I thought our defense did a good job being aggressive to the football," Ferentz said, expressing relief. "It was nice to see our offense take advantage of the field position. We've not always done a great job with that. It was a good thing to see."

Ferentz was relieved because last Saturday about 3 p.m. his team had just blocked two field goals to steal one from Northern Iowa, 17-16, at Kinnick Stadium. He had no idea what was going to happen in Ames, especially after all-Big Ten left offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga was out after being hospitalized with a midweek illness. Red-shirt freshman Riley Reiff replaced Bulaga.

And his quarterback's first-half performance probably didn't do much for Ferentz's disposition. Stanzi's two picks killed drives, including one inside ISU's 20.

"Last Saturday, I was a little worried about where we'd be today," said Ferentz, who added that Bulaga is close to being full speed. "I'm just thrilled we're 2-0."

All Iowa did, almost literally, was sit back and watch Arnaud implode.

Iowa defensive coordinator Norm Parker used some nickel and dime packages and mixed in a handful of 3-4 alignments. Mostly, the Hawkeyes sat back in their zone coverage and let the ball come to them.

Arnaud was victimized by tipped passes, two that ended up in Sash's hands, and some awful throws. Both of Greenwood's picks were floaters he jumped on.

Arnaud was pulled late in the third quarter.

"We go as I go," said Arnaud, who finished 10 of 22 for 79 yards and four interceptions. "We played terrible."

Sash's hat trick of picks tied linebacker Grant Steen's three against Indiana in 2002 for the Iowa record. He is a certainty for Big Ten defensive player of the week with a stat sheet that had three interceptions, 10 tackles, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

"It's everybody just doing their job," said Sash, who led the Hawkeyes to their most interceptions since a 59-0 win over Illinois in 1985. "Things happen for a reason, don't they?"

The Hawkeyes, who outgained ISU, 426 to 303, have held ISU without a TD for 14 quarters. After taking a 3-0 lead, ISU tried an onside kick that linebacker Bruce Davis recovered.

ISU then went as Arnaud went. All downhill.

"Nobody in the state of Iowa feels worse about this game than Austen Arnaud does," first-year ISU Coach Paul Rhoads said. "He had a bad day."

In the other locker room, it was the feel-good buddy flick of the season.

     

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