Nov. 10, 2007
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IOWA CITY — Brett Greenwood might have earned a new nickname — “The Hitter” — in the Iowa Hawkeyes’ 21-16 victory over Minnesota Saturday before the 29th straight sellout crowd inside historic Kinnick Stadium.
The redshirt freshman walk-on free safety from Bettendorf, Iowa, hit everything that moved that was wearing purple and yellow in Iowa’s fourth victory in its last five games, a win that made the Hawkeyes eligible for a postseason bowl game for the seventh consecutive season. And twice he separated Gopher receivers from the football and a completion.
“I can’t say enough about our D-backs. They’re tough to beat and have been all year. And, in Brett’s case, he’s got quite a bright future. Imagine what he’ll be like when he puts a little weight on,” chuckled senior linebacker Mike Klinkenborg during a post-game interview with Gary Dolphin and Ed Podolak of the Hawkeye Radio Network.
Klinkenborg’s praise is well-deserved. In addition to breaking up two passes, Greenwood was credited with seven tackles against Iowa’s arch-rivals, a total that includes four solo stops. His second pass break-up came on Minnesota’s two-point conversion attempt late in the fourth quarter. Had the Gophers converted, they would have been able to force overtime with a made field goal.
“He’s been all over the field today. Hitting, making tackles, and breaking up passes. Not a bad day for a redshirt freshman,” offered Chris Martin, color analyst for the Big Ten Network.
Greenwood’s performance against the Gophers pushed his season statistics to levels that are impressive whether you’re a newcomer or a veteran: 41 tackles, two tackles for loss, four passes broken up and two picks.
His play in the final minutes didn’t go unnoticed by Greenwood’s head coach.
“Make no mistake, that was a big play. Obviously, we weren’t consistent today..up and and down, so to put Minnesota into a position where they needed a touchdown to get a win was important,” said UI Head Coach Kirk Ferentz.
“Brett’s like a lot of our guys. All of them have worked hard, competed, and battled. We’re getting better, week by week,” added Ferentz, whose team reclaimed ownership of Floyd of Rosedale with the victory and pushed its winning streak to three straight.
“It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take any `W’ we can get this year in this league,” said Ferentz.
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