Insight Central: Hawkeyes Return to The Bubble

Dec. 10, 2010

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Brett Greenwood shared the University of Iowa team lead with four interceptions this season. According to averages, he will have nearly 35 attempts to add to that total when the Hawkeyes face free-throwing Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert on Dec. 28 in the Insight Bowl.

But first things first: Now is time to worry about Iowa, not the 10-2 Tigers.

“Everybody’s just happy to get back on the field and start practicing,” Greenwood said after Friday’s workout in The Bubble. “Right now we’re just focusing on ourselves, getting back to the fundamentals and looking to improve. In a couple days we’ll start looking toward Missouri.”

The Hawkeyes returned to work Thursday and they will be at it all weekend as they search for an unprecedented third consecutive bowl victory. Iowa won the 2009 Outback Bowl, 31-10, against South Carolina and the 2010 Orange Bowl, 24-14, against Georgia Tech.

In his most recent game Nov. 27 in Minneapolis, Greenwood compiled five tackles and recovered a DeLeon Eskridge fumble. He also had five stops on Sept. 18 when the Hawkeyes played in Tucson, Ariz. This will be the school’s first bowl trip to the state of Arizona.

“It will be neat. We were down there earlier this year (against the Arizona Wildcats),” Greenwood said. “It’s always good weather and we’ll face a great opponent. From what I’ve heard from the coaches and (travel coordinator) John Streif and (director of football operations) Paul (Federici), it’s a great bowl and great people that put on the bowl, so we’re excited for it.”

After nine games this season, both Iowa and Missouri were sitting with records of 7-2. While the Tigers went on to defeat Kansas State, Iowa State and Kansas, the Hawkeyes lost to Northwestern, Ohio State and Minnesota by a combined 10 points to finish 7-5.

“We’re ready to go,” Greenwood said. “It was a disappointing finish, we all know that, but we’re happy to get back out here practicing.”

It will also be the final collegiate game for Greenwood, a senior from Bettendorf, Iowa, who served as one of four team captains for the final two contests against Ohio State and Minnesota.

“It’s been a long road,” Greenwood said. “There are a lot of guys on this team where it will be their last game as a Hawkeye, so we’re looking to come out, do our best, prepare the best we can and get ready for this game.”

Iowa enters the postseason ranked sixth in rushing defense (103.5 yards per game), seventh in scoring defense (16.42 points per game) and 15th in total defense (317.08 yards per game). Missouri averages more than 400 yards and 30 points a game.

“We know they have a pretty good offense, they have a great quarterback, they do a lot of things and are able to pass the ball around,” Greenwood said. “We’ll have our hands full, but we’ll start scouting them in a couple days.”

The Insight Bowl is Tuesday, Dec. 28, in Tempe, Ariz., with a 9 p.m. start (CT). The game will be played in Sun Devil Stadium (56,000) on the Arizona State campus and televised nationally by ESPN (HD). Iowa has a 13-10-1 record in bowl games.