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September 13, 2009

Sash earns player of the week honors

IOWA CITY, IA - University of Iowa defensive back Tyler Sash has been named co-Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week following his performance in Saturday's 35-3 victory over Iowa State. The announcement was made Sunday night on the Big Ten Network's weekly recap show.

It's the second straight week the Hawkeyes have had a Big Ten Player of the Week. Linebacker Jeremiha Hunter won co-Special Team honors for his play in Iowa's win over Northern Iowa.

In addition, Sash has been named national defensive Performer of the Week by collegefootballperformance.com, which recognizes players at all positions each week during the college football season. Hawkeye TE Tony Moeaki earned honorable mention from collegefootballperformance.com after having 10 receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown in Iowa's opening win over Northern Iowa.

Sash, a 6-1, 210-pound sophomore from Oskaloosa, IA, won his second career Defensive Player of the Week honor. He also took the award following Iowa's win over Penn State last season. He shared the honor this week with Minnesota linebacker Nate Triplett.

Sash intercepted a record tying three passes, returning them 63 yards, against Iowa State. He tied the interception mark held by linebacker Grant Steen (Indiana, 2002). Sash has intercepted six passes in the last four Hawkeye games. He had two in the 2009 Outback Bowl win over South Carolina.

Sash also had a team high 10 tackles (eight solo), including two for losses (-5 yards) and a forced fumble, against the Cyclones. His two-game total of 20 tackles leads the team.

Iowa had seven Big Ten Player of the Week honorees last season.

Here is the full list of honorees from the Big Ten Conference.

OFFENSE:

Tate Forcier, Michigan
FR, QB, San Diego, Calif./Scripps Ranch

In his second career start, Forcier racked up 310 yards of total offense and led Michigan to the game-winning score over nationally ranked Notre Dame, tossing a touchdown pass with 11 seconds left for the victory. The true freshman quarterback completed 23-of-33 passes (69.7 pct.) for 240 yards and two touchdowns and also added 70 yards on 13 carries with another score. Trailing 20-17 at the half, Forcier put the Wolverines back ahead with a three-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter before adding a 31-yard scoring sprint to open the final stanza for a 31-20 advantage. After the Fighting Irish rallied to take a 34-31 lead, the California native drove the offense 57 yards on nine plays, capped by a five-yard scoring strike to give Michigan the victory. Forcier earns his first career weekly accolade and the first for a Wolverines' freshman since running back Mike Hart was honored on Oct. 23, 2004.

LAST MICH OFFENSIVE POW: QB Chad Henne on Nov. 5, 2007

CO-DEFENSE:

Tyler Sash, Iowa
SO, S, Oskaloosa, Iowa/Oskaloosa

Sash equaled a school record with three interceptions while adding a team-best 10 tackles, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble to lead Iowa to a road victory at Iowa State. The sophomore safety ended the Cyclones' first possession with a pick and added interceptions in the second and third quarter to match the program record set by linebacker Grant Steen against Indiana in 2002. Sash and the Hawkeyes' defense forced six turnovers in the game and held Iowa State to a single field goal. The Iowa native collects his second weekly award in as many years after being honored as a freshman on Nov. 10, 2008.

LAST IOWA DEFENSIVE POW: S Tyler Sash on Nov. 10, 2008

Nate Triplett, Minnesota
SR, LB, Maple Plain, Minn./Delano

Triplett recorded a career-high 17 tackles and also returned a fumble 52 yards for a touchdown to break a tie in the fourth quarter and give the Gophers a victory in their first game at TCF Bank Stadium. The senior linebacker's 17 tackles mark the best single-game performance in the Big Ten this season and are also the most by a Minnesota player since 2002. Just a week after Air Force scored 72 points, Triplett helped the Gophers defense hold the Falcons to only 13 points in Minneapolis. With the game tied at 3-3 in the third quarter, the Minnesota native stopped an Air Force running back on fourth-and-one at the nine-yard line to give the ball back to the Gophers. Then with the game tied at 10-10 in the final stanza, Triplett picked up a fumble and rambled 52 yards to put his team ahead for good. He nabs his first career weekly accolade and the second straight for a Minnesota linebacker after Lee Campbell was honored following the opening weekend.

LAST MINN DEFENSIVE POW: LB Lee Campbell Sept. 6, 2009

SPECIAL TEAMS:

Darryl Stonum, Michigan
SO, KR, Stafford, Texas/Dulles

Stonum produced a pair of key special teams plays, including a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and a punt downed on the four-yard line to help Michigan knock off nationally ranked Notre Dame. After the Fighting Irish pulled within 7-3 in the first quarter, the sophomore wideout returned the ensuing kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown and a 14-3 advantage. The visitors kicked away from Stonum for the rest of the game. In the third quarter, the Texas native batted down a punt by quarterback Tate Forcier at the four-yard line. Notre Dame's next possession resulted in a punt and the hosts tacked on another score on their ensuing drive to claim a 31-20 lead. Stonum also grabbed four catches for 54 yards in the contest. He picks up his first career weekly laurel.

LAST MICH SPECIAL TEAMS POW: PK K.C. Lopata on Nov. 10, 2008


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