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Iowa secondary standing up for Western Michigan test

[ 0 ] September 18, 2013 |
Iowa's #19 B. J. Lowery, left, broke up pass intended for Iowa State's #9 Quenton Bundrage, right, in the fourth quarter in football game played at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames on Saturday Sept. 14th, 2013. (Bill Neibergall/The Register)

Iowa’s #19 B. J. Lowery, left, broke up pass intended for Iowa State’s #9 Quenton Bundrage, right, in the fourth quarter in football game played at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames on Saturday Sept. 14th, 2013. (Bill Neibergall/The Register)

IOWA CITY, Ia. – Bring it on.

That seems to be the attitude of Iowa’s defensive backs as they prepare for Saturday’s 11 a.m. game against Western Michigan.

The Broncos have shown they like to throw the football, and the Hawkeyes’ secondary has been hit-and-miss when it comes to pass coverage.

“I figure they’ll put that as part of their strategy,” Iowa cornerback B.J. Lowery said. “Why wouldn’t you?”

The Hawkeyes have allowed 10 pass completions of 20 yards or more through their first three games, including four in last week’s 27-21 win against Iowa State.

“I’m sure (Western Michigan) has seen what’s happened on tape the past couple weeks,” safety Tanner Miller said. “That’s something we’ve got to realize — teams are going to come after us deep.”

The Broncos are averaging 44 pass attempts per game but have completed only 44 percent of them (58-of-142) for an average of 216.3 yards per game.

Tyler Van Tubbergen, a 6-foot-3, 198-pound senior, has 10 games of experience as the starting quarterback. He threw a 75-yard touchdown pass Saturday in a 38-17 loss at Northwestern.

“He seems to be a good leader of the offense,” Miller said. “And then they’ve got some good guys out wide who can really stretch you out.”

The Hawkeyes’ defensive backs played well for most of three quarters against the Cyclones. In the first half, the group limited Sam Richardson to 10-of-18 passing, with no completion going for more than 10 yards.

But in the final 17:40, Richardson threw three touchdown passes — all to Quenton Bundrage — including one for 67 yards.

Iowa has started freshman Desmond King at cornerback the past two weeks while Jordan Lomax has sat out because of a hamstring injury. Lomax is expected to return this week.

“I think we’ve got a little chip on our shoulder to show, ‘Hey, we can go out there for 60 minutes and hold people down,’ ” Miller said. “That’s something we’re going to have to really focus and key on this week.

“We know (Western Michigan) has a pretty big aerial attack, and it’s something we’re going to have to be ready for.”

Some have wondered about Iowa’s communication in the secondary. Lowery said it’s a matter of positioning.

“It’s more about alignment than anything,” he said.

“Where you place yourself on the field is how the play is probably going to turn out.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Andrew Logue: Andrew has been with the Des Moines Register for 19 years, covering everything from preps to Hawkeye and Cyclone sports, as well as the Drake Relays. View author profile.

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