The Ottumwa Courier

AP Sports

September 26, 2013

Playmakers key Hawkeyes improvement

(Continued)

Martin-Manley's performance was also validation of Iowa's steady progression under first-year special teams coordinator Chris White.

"Kevonte's effort was good, but the best part to me was the 10 guys away from the ball were doing a good job. And then there were a lot of the things I think subtly that took place on special teams that were encouraging," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said.

Martin-Manley's record effort last week nearly obscured a tremendous game from Lowery, who had interception returns for 35 and 13 yards for TDs. Lowery also made a leaping, one-handed interception to help keep Iowa from blowing a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter of a win over Iowa State.

Playing alongside a true freshman in Desmond King, Lowery has emerged as one of the more dangerous cornerbacks in the Big Ten.

"He's done a really good job. He's one of the guys that comes to mind ... that really had outstanding springs," Ferentz said. "He's truly a leader there and does a great job on our special teams."

Mark Weisman, the nation's leader with 95 carries, is looked upon to sustain drives rather than break off long TD runs. But his bruising presence has helped free up the Hawkeyes to complete four passes of at least 40 yards — a major boost for a team that averaged a dismal 5.8 yards per attempt in 2012.

Rudock has also shown the ability to scramble for big yards at key moments with a team-high four touchdown runs.

"For us to have a good football team, our best guys have to step forward, our most experienced guys," Ferentz said. "For us to move forward we're going to need that same kind of production from our veteran guys."

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