BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (BVM) — Props have been used on college football sidelines many times before, most notably with the Miami Hurricanes’ turnover chain. On Saturday during the Indiana Hoosiers and Ohio State Buckeyes Week 1 matchup the Hoosiers debuted the takeaway belt.
The belt made its way to Bloomington thanks to Declan McMahon, a redshirt freshman running back for the Hoosiers and the son of Shane McMahon and grandson of Vince McMahon.
“His grandfather is part of WWE, so they gifted us a WWE takeaway belt that we hold up for whoever makes an interception and causes a forced fumble,” Indiana linebacker Jacob Mangum-Farrar told the media.
This is new: IU has a “takeaway belt” that was gifted to the program by the McMahon family. Yes, that McMahon family. Declan McMahon is a redshirt freshman running back. The belt gets held up by the defense after turnovers. #iufb
— Zach Osterman (@ZachOsterman) September 4, 2023
The belt made its debut thanks to Phillip Dunnam, who recorded his first career interception on an errant pass by Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord.
📺: CBS pic.twitter.com/rwO6XVU7Tt
— Big Ten Football (@B1Gfootball) September 2, 2023
“It’s been very important growth,” Indiana head football coach Tom Allen said in a press conference Monday. “We’ve challenged him. He’s one of our most talented defensive players I believe. He was a guy we knew needed to make the next step.”
Dunnam’s interception not only impressed his coaches but his teammates as well.
“I was happy for him because he does it so much in practice,” Mangum-Farrar said of Dunnam to the media. “He gets picks all the time in practice, so I was happy to see that translate to the game.”
Indiana was one of the best teams in the Big Ten when it came to turnover margin in 2019 (top five) and Allen led it to a record year in 2020, beating three ranked opponents for the first time since 1945. However, the Hoosiers have managed to create just 22 turnovers in the last two seasons but now new co-defensive coordinator Matt Guerrieri will look to help Allen and Indiana create additional turnovers and display the takeaway belt more this season.