IOWA CITY, Ia. – Iowa’s defense entered Saturday’s game against Western Michigan with several goals. But one was No. 1 on the to-do list.
“We wanted to limit the deep passes that seem to get us each week,” cornerback B.J. Lowery said.
Iowa had allowed 10 passes of 20 yards or more through the first three games. That number remained at 10 in Saturday’s 59-3 victory.
It’s been give-and-take for the defense all season. They’ve given up those big plays, but made plenty big ones of their own. It started with linebacker Christian Kirksey’s forced fumble and 52-yard return for a touchdown against Northern Illinois.
Safety Tanner Miller had an interception in the end zone to seal a victory over Missouri State in the second game. And James Morris had an interception late in the first half of last week’s game at Iowa State that led to a field goal and a 13-0 lead.
It was Lowery’s turn Saturday. And it took him just 3 1/2 minutes to make history. The senior from Cincinnati, Ohio, returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown with :56 remaining in the first half. He returned a second pick 13 yards for a touchdown with 12:22 remaining in the third quarter.
He became the first Iowa player to ever return two interceptions for touchdowns in the same game.
“I’m just happy to have a chance to contribute (Saturday),” Lowery said.
On the first interception, Lowery worked hand-in-hand with Kirksey.
“Chris stepped down and took the first guy,” Lowery said. “The second guy came underneath and I just broke on the ball.”
On the second interception, Lowery free-lanced a little bit.
“I just read the play and broke on the ball,” Lowery said.
His second touchdown also came with a little flair. He drove for the left pylon and got the ball into the end zone.
“I learned that from Micah Hyde,” Lowery said of his former secondary teammate, now a rookie with the Green Bay Packers.
Iowa’s defense will have to continue to improve, and the next test comes in Saturday’s Big Ten opener at Minnesota.
“This game should give us some momentum going into Minnesota,” Lowery said.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football