University of Iowa junior WR Kevonte Martin-Manley and senior CB B.J. Lowery earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors for their play in Iowa’s 59-3 win over Western Michigan. Lowery earned the Big Ten honor for defense, while Martin-Manley earned the award for his special teams play.
The College Football Performance Awards also named the Lowery and Martin-Manley as the national Performers of the Week for defense and special teams, respectively, while Lowery was also named national defensive Player of the Week by College Sports Madness.
Martin-Manley was named Big Ten special teams Player of the Week after recording punt return touchdowns of 83 and 63 yards, both in the second quarter. He is the first conference player to ever return back-to-back-punts for touchdowns and just the second player in the last decade with two punt return touchdowns in one quarter. Martin-Manley ended the game with 184 yards on four returns. He is just the third player in Big Ten history with two punt return touchdowns in a game, and the first since 1983. The 184 yards ranks second best all-time in the Big Ten, behind Nile Kinnick’s record of 201 yards on nine returns, set in 1939. Just one player in NCAA Division I history has three punt return touchdowns in a game.
Martin-Manley (6-0, 205) is a native of Pontiac, Mich., where he attended Brother Rice HS. He began the day with a 44-yard return to set up a field goal on Iowa’s first possession. With the Hawkeyes leading 10-0 in the second period, Martin-Manley scored on an 83-yard return, which ties as the seventh longest in school history. Martin-Manley struck just 59 seconds later with the 63-yard return, which ranks as the 20th longest in Iowa annals.
Lowery (5-11, 193) is a senior from Cincinnati, Ohio (Hughes HS). His first score of the day was a 35-yard return with 56 seconds remaining in the second period. His second touchdown covered 13 yards and came on Western Michigan’s first possession of the third period. Lowery is the first Hawkeye ever with two interception return touchdowns in a single game and the second Big Ten player to accomplish the feat since 1998.
Lowery scored the first touchdowns of his career against Western Michigan and added one solo tackle and three assists. Lowery leads Iowa with three interceptions in four games, as his first theft of the season came in the 27-21 win at Iowa State. Lowery has four career interceptions.
The Big Ten honors are the first for both Lowery and Martin-Manley. The special teams accolade is the first for an Iowa player since PK Mike Meyer was recognized for his play in Iowa’s win at Michigan State last season. Lowery’s honor is the first for an Iowa defensive player since DT Tom Nardo was recognized for his performance in a 2011 win over Louisiana-Monroe.
Iowa has two recipients awarded in the same week for the first time since Sept. 27, 2009, when LB Pat Angerer (defense) and DE Adrian Clayborn (special teams) were honored following Iowa’s 21-10 win at Penn State.
Iowa (3-1) begins Big Ten Conference play Saturday, traveling to Minnesota (4-0) for the annual battle for Floyd of Rosedale. Game time is 2:30 p.m. (ABC).
(release courtesy of hawkeyesports.com)