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The secret to Anthony Hitchens’ monster day

[ 0 ] October 26, 2013 |

IOWA CITY, Ia. – Senior linebacker Anthony Hitchens had one of the best games of his Iowa career Saturday.

“I feel I’m getting better every week,” Hitchens said. “Give all the credit to Coach Reid.”

Assistant coach Jim Reid, in his first year at Iowa, works with the linebackers. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz hired Reid after Virginia let him go as defensive coordinator following the 2012 season.

“My reads are much more clear now,” Hitchens said. “Just knowing formations and tendencies.”

Reid has worked with Hitchens to see the game better, and know what to expect. And Saturday, he was a one-man wrecking crew. Hitchens had nine tackles, including a sack and a forced fumble.

On the first play of the second half, Hitchens still had a defender draped on him when he reached out and tackled running back Mike Trumpy for a 2-yard loss.

“He’s playing hard, and those linebackers (Hitchens, Christian Kirksey and James Morris) are doing a good job,” Ferentz said. “Hitch is really doing a nice job.”

With Iowa in front in overtime, 17-10, and Northwestern facing a do-or-die fourth-and-8 from the Iowa 23, Hitchens went with the man in motion, then passed him on to a teammate.

“I was making my way to the quarterback (Kain Colter) as he was scrambling,” Hitchens said. “The defensive end (Louis Trinca-Pasat) got there first.”

With Colter on the ground, the Hawkeye celebration was on.

“I just went crazy,” Hitchens said. “I was running around the field. Ray Hamilton tackled me. Blind-sided me. We were just having fun, like kids all over again.”

Hitchens said Saturday’s victory could set the table for future success this season.

“I think we’re going to build and get better and improve,” Hitchens said. “We’re just a lot better team than we were in Week 1.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Rick Brown: Rick Brown covers men's basketball for The Des Moines Register and Hawk Central. He's married and the father of two. He also covers golf for the Register. View author profile.

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