Desmond King – 2 Tackles, 1 Tackle For Loss, 1 Pass Deflection
Desmond King isn’t putting together another historic season, however he’s still making a positive impact on every game for the Hawkeyes. He had another great showing this weekend against Minnesota despite recording just two tackles on the afternoon.
Mitch Leidner decided to test the Jim Thorpe award winner early in the game, until he realized that wouldn’t work. King played his famously tight coverage on Minnesota’s receivers and shut down Minnesota’s leading receiver Drew Wolitarsky.
King matched up with Wolitarsky many times during the course of the game and didn’t give the top receiver any breathing room. He caused him to drop passes and be ineffective for most of the game. Wolitarsky finished the game with 58 yards on five catches, his lowest mark in each category since week one against Oregon State.
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Plus, King nearly intercepted his first pass of the season early in the first quarter. From their own 13-yard line, Mitch Leidner threw into coverage and King was in perfect position to come away with his first interception, and a pick-six, of the season.
King might not have any interceptions through the first half of the season, although he takes away half the field whenever he’s in the game. It forced Leidner to look towards the other side of the field on Minnesota’s potential game-winning drive and pick on Greg Mabin.
Despite Mabin not turning his head around and giving up costly big gains, he did make a big play on fourth down to secure a Hawkeyes victory. Still, very few defensive backs in the nation can impact a game by simply just being present on the field.
Not to mention, King had a solid night in the return game, as well. He almost had a costly fumble to start the second half on a kickoff return, but Iowa recovered the ball, potentially saving them from disaster.
King isn’t putting up flashy numbers like last year, but he’s still an impact player. He added more highlight plays to his reel, however we’re all waiting for his first return touchdown because he’s so close every week.