Dec. 12, 2008
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Brett Greenwood attended the 2006 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Tex., but as a redshirt walk-on, he was limited to being a spectator during the game.
Greenwood, a sophomore free safety for the University of Iowa, will assume a starting role Jan. 1 when the 8-4 Hawkeyes play 7-5 South Carolina in the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla.
“When you’re a recruit coming in here, you hear about the Jan. 1 bowl games,” Greenwood said. “We’re back for another one and we have three weeks to prepare for South Carolina — they’re a good team. It will be different actually playing in the bowl. I’m real excited to get down there.”
It is the fifth time in the past seven seasons that Iowa has participated in a January bowl game.
Greenwood, a native of Bettendorf, Iowa (Pleasant Valley High School), is one of two native Iowans starting in the secondary for the Hawkeyes (freshman strong safety Tyler Sash of Oskaloosa is the other). Last season during a 10-6 win against Illinois, Greenwood intercepted a pass near the end zone in the final moments to secure the victory.
“Being a Hawkeye means showing up every day, working your hardest and giving 100 percent,” Greenwood said. “One of the famous quotes that we have is `100 percent doesn’t make you special, it makes you part of this team.'”
During the regular season, Greenwood was fourth on the squad with 65 tackles (28 solo, 37 assists) with six pass breakups and two interceptions for 31 yards.
“Our defense prides itself on effort and intensity,” Greenwood said. “Our No. 1 goal is to get the ball back for our offense.”
Iowa opened the season with three straight wins, but after a hard-fought 16-13 loss at Michigan State on Oct. 4, the Hawkeyes were sitting 3-3 with six games remaining. Iowa won five of its final six outings — 45-9 at Indiana, 38-16 against Wisconsin, 24-23 against Penn State, 22-17 against Purdue and 55-0 at Minnesota.
“We wanted to be a competitive team and get as many wins as we could,” Greenwood said. “We didn’t see a game on our schedule that we couldn’t win.”
For Greenwood — like many of the Iowa players — a highlight of the season was upsetting No. 3 Penn State on a 31-yard field goal by kicker Daniel Murray with 1-second remaining Nov. 8.
“That week nobody believed we could win that game outside our building,” Greenwood said. “We believed in ourselves.”
According to Greenwood, UI head coach Kirk Ferentz `expects a lot out of us,’ and he is a stickler when it comes to making sure the Hawkeyes are primed to perform.
“The big thing for him is preparing during the week…knowing our opponent and not beating ourselves,” Greenwood said.
Ferentz, Greenwood and the rest of the Hawkeye gang resumed practice this afternoon inside The Bubble. To view a photo gallery from Friday’s practice — available exclusively on hawkeyesports.com, CLICK HERE.
Fans of the Iowa Hawkeyes who live in the Heartland or in the Sunshine State or in all points between should note that the UI Athletics Ticket Office is accepting ticket orders for the 2009 Outback Bowl. To purchase your tickets online click HERE. Fans can also purchase over the phone by calling 1-800 IA-HAWKS or over-the-counter at the UI Athletics Ticket Office in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.