DOWN AND DISTANCE: Missouri State on offense, second-and 10 at Iowa’s 14
FORMATION AND PERSONNEL: Iowa – base defense. Missouri State – Two wide receivers and one tight end to the left; one wide receiver to the right; quarterback in shotgun with running back to his right
WHAT HAPPENED: Missouri State quarterback Kierra Harris threw toward right-side wide receiver Dorian Buford, who ran a post route on cornerback B.J. Lowery into the end zone. Iowa safety Tanner Miller undercut the route, dove for the ball and came up with the interception.
WHY IT WAS IMPORTANT: The pick preserved Iowa’s two-touchdown lead at a critical juncture.
THE QUOTE 1: “I just think I played with the quarterback a little bit,” Iowa safety Tanner Miller said. “He was reading me at the snap of the ball. He was expecting me to go to the same spot I had the play before. So I made it look like I was going to the same spot and went to the backside of the play and just kind of read his eyes. They ran the play we thought they were going to. I think they were going to run a slant there on the backside, and I just went in front of it and made the pick.”
THE QUOTE 2: “The previous snap we had run a similar play, we were reading the other side and we knew that safety was cheating to our three-receiver side,” Missouri State Coach Terry Allen said. “Well, he did a nice job because the corner pressed him up and the safety didn’t read the three-receiver side. He came up and stole the post that we were trying to throw. Good job him.”
THE QUOTE 3: ” (Buford) ran a slant-and-go, and I was on top of him,” Iowa cornerback B.J. Lowery said. “I saw a ball thrown, and I’m going to break on the ball. All the sudden Tanner came diving out of nowhere, and he caught it. I was happy for him. It was a good play by Tanner.”
THE ANALYSIS: Just a simple baiting play by a veteran free safety. Miller had an idea where the ball was headed so he held his position and broke at the right time. Lowery also was in position to make a play on the ball, barring a perfect pass.