When you do something in college football that has only happened twice in the history of the Big 10, it’s safe to assume a few honors will come your way.
Iowa receiver Kevonte Martin-Manley returned two punts for touchdowns Saturday in a 59-3 victory over Western Michigan at Kinnick Stadium. Martin scored twice in a span of 59 seconds, the first from 83 yards and the second from 63 in earning the Dear Old Gold Player of the Week award. He joins Earl Girard of Wisconsin (1947 vs. Iowa) and Garcia Lane of Ohio State (1983 vs. Purdue) as the only players in Big 10 history to accomplish the feat of two punt returns for touchdowns in a game.
There were a lot of holes in the middle of the field and we ran our middle return all game,” Martin-Manley said. “I seen out there today exactly what we seen on film, and I made a couple of cuts and was able to notch them.
On the day, Martin-Manly racked up 184 yards in returns. That left him just 17 yards shy of the Iowa record set by a guy who’s name is in big letters on the side of the home stadium: Nile Kinnick.
I heard the announcer say something like that,” KMM said with a smile. “I was kind of bitter about that I wasn’t able to get it. But to even be mentioned in that category I was truly humbled by it.
Martin-Manley’s performance overshadowed a career day by another Hawkeye, cornerback B.J. Lowery. Lowery notched his second and third interceptions of the season in he second half. Not to be outdone by KMM, Lowery returned both his interceptions for touchdowns as well.
For the record, had the Internet existed in 1947 and 1983, Girard and Lane would have been named DOG players of the week as well.