WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Iowa cornerback Desmond King proved he was mortal when he gave up a 38-yard pass against Purdue late in the second quarter.
But when the reigning Jim Thorpe Award winner needed to make a play, he did so in spectacular fashion.
King, a senior, picked off a David Blough pass and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown in the Hawkeyes’ 49-35 win at Ross-Ade Stadium on Saturday. It was his first interception this season after tying the Iowa school record with eight last year.
“It feels really good to add another touchdown to the stats,” King said. “I know I had guys in front of me that can go out and block and that’s what a good defense does. Once you make a play on the ball, you turn it into an offensive team and go into the end zone.”
King now has intercepted a pass and returned it for a score in each of the last three seasons. He returned one 35 yards as a sophomore against Indiana. Last year, he he returned an interception 88 yards against Maryland.
Saturday, he was defending Purdue wide receiver DeAngelo Yancey late in the fourth quarter. Blough threw into double coverage and King jumped the route near his right sideline. He raced up the field, broke a tackle at the 12-yard line and dove into the end zone for a touchdown.
“I just saw (Yancey), that’s my guy and just playing up underneath him as I was supposed to do,” King said. “The ball was there, and I took my chance.”
It’s rare for opponents to attack King, who breaks up nearly as many passes as he allows completions. But Blough went after King a few times during the game.
“I don’t expect anyone not to throw the ball; I expect it to come my way each and every down,” King said. “Just being ready at all times.”
King now has 12 career interceptions, tying for sixth on Iowa’s all-time list with Brett Greenwood and Steve Wilson.
This will teach ya.
— Iowa On BTN (@IowaOnBTN) October 15, 2016