"Our coaches told us we were OK, we just had to calm down and play better," junior safety Daytawion Lowe said. "We started off kind of lackadaisical, but after that we got going."
The Cowboys allowed a field goal on the Cyclones' next drive, but then clamped down. ISU was shut out the next three quarters en route to a 31-10 OSU victory. At game's end, the Cyclones had more punting yardage (424) than total offense (341).
And that stat about no starters getting interceptions? That was broken when Lowe one-hand-snagged a Barnett pass early in the third quarter. The pick was more than just a stopper for an ISU drive toward midfield, down 17-10. It was the emotional spark the Cowboys' secondary needed after a rough start to the season.
"It feels great," Lowe said. "They were coming last year and now we haven't seen too many of them. We've got to keep on rolling now."
It ended the Cowboys', and Lowe's, interception dry spell. The last time Lowe recorded a pick was on Oct. 29, 2011 against Baylor.
"Any time you get an interception, it's great," Lowe said. "It's something I've been working on in practice – breaking on the ball and going up and attacking it."
But that excitement is short lived. Lowe led the team in tackles last season (97). His role as a run-stopper has been invaluable. He needs his teammates to step up alongside him to record more interceptions.
"I might tease them a little bit, but it doesn't feel too good to be the only person with a pick, because I feel like we've had some opportunities and we should capitalize on a lot more," Lowe said. "I'm looking forward to people passing me up."
Senior cornerback Brodrick Brown had five interceptions last year. He's itching to get his first this season. But that doesn't mean it's time to panic.
"It's no pressure," Brown said. "Everybody is pressuring us about how we don't have that many interceptions in the secondary – it's a long season. It's only the first half. We might come out in the second half of the season and just get turnovers galore. We've got to be patient. We can't force getting an interception or a receiver might beat us going over the top."
Defensive coordinator Bill Young said the key to creating turnovers is simple. And it's a philosophy that relates to every player on the team.
"We all are frustrated," Young said. "I tell them the harder they work, the luckier we'll get."