Playmakers key Hawkeyes improvementIowa defensive back B.J. Lowery, center, runs from Western Michigan's Brian Fields, left, and Taylor Moton, right, while returning an interception 35-yards for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- Kevonte Martin-Manley returned back-to-back punts for touchdowns; B.J. Lowery returned a pair of interceptions for TDs and Iowa rolled past Western Michigan 59-3 on Saturday.
The Hawkeyes (3-1) now enter Big Ten play with a three-game winning streak, their longest since 2010.
Martin-Manley scored on returns of 83 and 63 yards early in the second quarter as Iowa jumped out to a 38-3 halftime lead.
Lowery took back picks for 35 and 13-yard TDs for Iowa, which scored its most points since it had 62 against Northwestern in 2002.
Tyler Van Tubbergen had 114 yards passing for the Broncos (0-4).
At times earlier this season, Martin-Manley appeared far more willing to settle for a fair catch than to try to make a play.
Martin-Manley's new-found aggressiveness paid off with the best afternoon an Iowa returner has ever had.
Martin-Manley beat roughly a half-dozen Broncos up the left sideline to put Iowa ahead 17-0. Western Michigan punter J. Schroeder then drilled a low liner to Martin-Manley, who caught it near the left hash marks, hit stride just after midfield and sprinted 63 yards into the end zone just 59 seconds later.
Martin Manley was just the third player in Big Ten history with two punt returns for TDs in the same game and the first in 30 years.
Lowery made a spectacular one-handed interception to help preserve last week's win over Iowa State.
That pick was nothing compared to his performance against the Broncos.
Lowery intercepted Van Tubbergen in traffic and raced 35 yards for a touchdown to close out the first half - Iowa's best since it scored 49 in a 56-0 win over Ball State in 2005.
That was enough for Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck to bench Van Tubbergen in favor of Zach Terrell to start the second half
But Terrell's first pass was a perfect throw to the chest of Lowery, who happily took it 13 yards for a touchdown.
The day would only get better for the resurgent Hawkeyes.
Damond Powell, the speedy junior college transfer that many have viewed as the vertical threat Iowa has been searching for, broke free for a 29-yard TD and a 52-3 Iowa lead.
Rudock was done for the day after attempting just 15 passes, completing 10 for 134 yards and two TDs.
Workhorse running back Mark Weisman only had 10 carries - as Martin-Manley and Lowery keyed Iowa's first laugher in years.
Jordan Canzeri and Jacob Hillyer also had touchdowns for the Hawkeyes.
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