Safety Tyler Sash has been named the Big Ten's defensive player of the week after his interception set up Iowa's final drive for a game-winning field goal to hand nationally ranked Penn State its first loss of the season. Sash, a redshirt freshman from Oskaloosa, registered eight tackles in the game to go along with the interception.
IOWA CITY, IA - Iowa defensive back Tyler Sash has been named the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Week following his play in the Hawkeye upset win over third-ranked Penn State last Saturday.
Sash, a 6-1, 200-pound redshirt freshman from Oskaloosa, was instrumental in Iowa's 24-23 win over the Nittany Lions. It was Penn State's first loss of the year and the win made Iowa bowl eligible for the eighth straight year. Sash registered eight tackles and had a crucial interception to set up Iowa's final drive for a game-winning field goal. The first-year starter had four solo stops and was part of a Hawkeye defense that held the Nittany Lions to only 23 points and 289 total yards. PSU entered the game leading the Big Ten in both categories, ranking eighth in the country with 41.8 points per contest and 11th nationally with 459.8 yards per outing.
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Penn State drove inside Iowa's 20-yard line on five occasions but was limited to field goals on three of those trips. After the Hawkeyes pulled within two (23-21) in the fourth quarter, Penn State drove to the Hawkeyes' 37-yard line before Sash picked off a pass at the 15-yard line and returned it 14 yards. Iowa then drove down the field to set up the game-winning field goal with only one second on the clock.
Sash is the fifth Hawkeye to win Big Ten player of the week honors this season. Previous winners include DT Karl Klug (defense vs. Florida Int.), WR Andy Brodell (special teams vs. Iowa State), RB Shonn Greene (offense vs. Wisconsin) and LB Pat Angerer (defense vs. Wisconsin.
The Hawkeyes end their home campaign with an 11 a.m. kickoff against Purdue this Saturday, in Kinnick Stadium. About 2,000 tickets remain.
From the Big Ten Conference:
Chris "Beanie" Wells, Ohio State
JR, RB, Akron, Ohio/Garfield
Wells broke loose for 140 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead Ohio State to a road triumph over Northwestern. The junior running back averaged 5.0 yards on 28 attempts and recorded 140 or more yards on the ground for the third time this season. Wells opened the scoring with a two-yard run to give the visitors a 7-0 lead. After the Wildcats tied the score, he put the visitors ahead for good by breaking multiple tackles on his way to a 55-yard scoring sprint. The Ohio native ranks third in Big Ten play with 117.2 yards per outing and needs one more yard to break the 3,000-yard mark for his career. Wells picks up his third career weekly laurel after being honored on Oct. 22 and Nov. 19 of 2007.
LAST OSU OFFENSIVE POW: RB Chris "Beanie" Wells on Nov. 19, 2007.
David Gilreath, Wisconsin
SO, WR, New Hope, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong
Gilreath averaged an impressive 21 yards per carry to produce a career-best 168 rushing yards and two touchdowns to lead Wisconsin to a victory at Indiana. The sophomore wide receiver amassed 235 all-purpose yards on the day, including a 19-yard reception and 48 yards on kickoff and punt returns. He tallied his first career rushing touchdown with an eight-yard dash to give the Badgers a 21-13 lead in the second quarter. With the visitors clinging to a narrow 24-20 halftime advantage, Gilreath sparked a second-half offensive explosion by breaking loose for a 90-yard scoring sprint less than two minutes into the third quarter. Wisconsin would tack on 24 more points to run away with a 55-20 triumph. The Minnesota native's 90-yard score was the longest running play for the Badgers since 1963, when Tom Brigham went 91 yards against Western Michigan. Gilreath earns his second weekly accolade and first on the offensive side of the ball after being honored on special teams on Sept. 17, 2007.
LAST WIS OFFENSIVE POW: RB Zach Brown on Nov. 19, 2007.
Tyler Sash, Iowa
FR, S, Oskaloosa, Iowa/Oskaloosa
Sash registered eight tackles and a crucial interception to set up Iowa's final drive for a game-winning field goal to hand nationally ranked Penn State its first loss. The freshman safety, who had four solo stops, was part of a Hawkeyes defense that held the Nittany Lions attack to only 23 points and 289 total yards. PSU entered the game leading the Big Ten in both categories, ranking eighth in the country with 41.8 points per contest and 11th nationally with 459.8 yards per outing. Penn State drove inside Iowa's 20-yard line on five occasions but was limited to field goals on three of those trips. After the hosts pulled within 23-21 in the fourth quarter, PSU drove to the Hawkeyes' 37-yard line before Sash picked off a pass at the 15-yard line and returned it 14 yards. Iowa then drove down the field to set up the game-winning field goal with only one second on the clock. Sash collects the first weekly award of his career.
LAST IOWA DEFENSIVE POW: LB Pat Angerer on Oct. 20, 2008.
K.C. Lopata, Michigan
SR, K, Farmington, Mich./Farmington
Lopata set a career high and equaled a school record with five field goals to lead Michigan to a road victory against Minnesota. The senior kicker scored a career-best 17 points, connecting on all five of his field goal attempts from 44, 34, 26, 48 and 23 yards while adding two extra points in the 29-6 win. His five field goals are the most by a conference kicker this season and matched the program record set by Mike Gillette against Minnesota in 1988 and equaled by J.D. Carlson versus Illinois in 1990. Lopata earns his first career weekly accolade and the first for a Michigan special teams player since the 2006 campaign.
LAST MICH SPECIAL TEAMS POW: KR/PR Steve Breaston on Nov. 13, 2006.