IOWA: Four Days and Counting

A season ago, Indiana nearly pulled off a shocker against an undefeated Iowa team in Iowa City. This year, the two teams meet again with the Hawkeyes a heavy favorite. Hoosier Nation looks at this weekend's match-up, focusing on four names to know off Iowa's roster...

Tyler Sash, S – Sash is likely a familiar name to Indiana fans, since he's the player most responsible for spearheading the Hawkeyes' come-from-behind 42-24 win over Indiana a season ago. It was Sash who was the lucky recipient of an improbable play – with Indiana leading 21-7 midway through the third quarter and poised to push the lead to 21 following an Donnell Jones interception, a Ben Chappell pass hit the hand of Iowa's Christian Ballard, deflected off IU lineman James Brewer, and landed in the arms of Sash, who raced 86 yards for a touchdown to cut the IU lead to 21-14. Big plays have long been a big part of Sash's game, as he ranks fifth in Iowa history with 13 interceptions and fourth in Big Ten history with 392 interception return yards. He had six interceptions a season ago, and both of his interceptions this year have come since Big Ten play opened. He's a ball hawk in Iowa's cover two scheme and will be a player to watch Saturday.

Ricky Stanzi, QB – this isn't the same up-and-down quarterback that the Hoosiers ran into a season ago, when a monstrous fourth quarter effort made up for a five-interception effort during the first three quarters. This year, Stanzi has been arguably the nation's best quarterback from a statistical standpoint. To date he's completing 68.5 percent of his throws this season, has 19 touchdowns compared to two interceptions, and ranks second in the nation in passing efficiency. He does have the luxury of throwing to two very experienced wideouts in Derrell Johnson-Koulianos (Iowa career leader in receiving yards) and Marvin McNutt (28 receptions, 462 yards, 4 TDs in ‘10), but there's no doubt Stanzi has made monstrous strides from a season ago when he was tied with Ben Chappell for the Big Ten lead with 15 interceptions.

Karl Klug, DT – Iowa's defensive line is considered by many to be the best in the nation, and the player who gets the most credit for that accolade is defensive end Adrian Clayborn. But the man next to him – 6'3", 270-pound Karl Klug – is equally important to the success of Iowa's defensive front. While Klug isn't as big as many defensive tackles, he more than makes up for it by being quick off the ball and a tremendous athlete for the position. Klug arrived at Iowa five years ago as a 6'4", 200-pound defensive end that virtually no one knew about out of tiny Caledonia H.S. in Minnesota, and 70 pounds late he has developed into a nightmare for interior offensive linemen. He ranks seventh on the team with 35 tackles, second with six tackles for loss, and recorded nine tackles in Iowa's win over Indiana a season ago.

James Morris, MLB – Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz likely didn't expect that the 6'3", 215-pound Morris would be a big part of his teams plans this fall during his true freshman campaign. But injuries to Bruce Davis, Jeremiah Hunter and Jeff Tarpinian – three of Iowa's top five linebackers entering fall camp – changed the outlook for this Solon, Iowa, product. He earned his first career start against Michigan State, and recorded a career-high nine stops against the then-No. 5 Spartans. Morris is a very good athlete who was a two-time Gatorade High School Player of the Year in the state of Iowa and a three-time first-team All-State choice who led his team to three straight Iowa high school state championships as a linebacker and running back.

Coming Up
On Monday – Five Numbers to Note
On Tuesday – Four Names to Know
On Wednesday – Three Key Match-Ups
On Thursday – Two Big Concerns
On Friday – One Bold Prediction

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