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Featured matchup: Tyler Sash vs. Ben Chappell

BY SCOTT MILLER | NOVEMBER 05, 2010 7:20 AM

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Name: Tyler Sash (and the rest of the Iowa secondary)
Year: Junior
Position: Safety

Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins threw for 329 yards and three touchdowns the week before he played Iowa. But he struggled against the Hawkeyes' secondary, tossing three interceptions.

Perhaps the most spectacular of those picks came late in the first quarter, when safety Tyler Sash lateraled an intercepted ball to Micah Hyde, who returned it 66 yards for a touchdown. Sash is a big part of the reason Iowa is second in the Football Bowl Subdivision in turnover margin (plus 1.50).

And now, the Iowa secondary faces the challenge of shutting down another top-flight quarterback, Indiana's Ben Chappell, who's sixth in the Football Bowl Subdivision in total offense (307.3). Sash & Company will have to be on constant alert; Chappell averages 41.5 pass attempts per game.

"That's fun for me," Sash said about playing against a pass-happy offense.

The Hawkeyes' secondary isn't invincible, though. It has given up an average of more than 250 yards passing in Big Ten play, forcing eight interceptions in those games.

Name: Ben Chappell
Year: Senior
Position: Quarterback

Chappell came to his Monday press gathering wearing a walking boot on his left foot. Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said the team's defensive scheme is centered on Chappell playing Saturday.

Ferentz speculated the only effect of Chappell's injury could be in limiting his mobility.

While Chappell has shown a willingness to run in the past, his passing ability makes him a tough matchup. So far this season, he has had passing outings of 366, 342, 480, 382, and 308 yards. On Oct. 30 against Northwestern, the quarterback threw 54 passes. Sash said Iowa is expecting a similar plan Saturday.

Ferentz said, "They were a good offensive football team a year ago; they're building on that. When you have a fifth-year quarterback like that, that helps."

Last year against Iowa, Chappell threw three interceptions, including one that bounced off several players before Sash snagged it and returned it for a key touchdown. If Chappell wants to win his final game in Bloomington, he'll have to somehow keep the ball out of No. 9's hands.


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