After Saturday’s 26-16 win over Michigan State, Iowa linebacker Jay Higgins took a question about how it felt forcing four turnovers after initiating zero the previous week.

“I know I won’t be getting that question on Tuesday,” Higgins joked. “You guys won’t be asking me what’s going on with the Iowa defense.”

After forcing three turnovers through the first four games, the Iowa defense eclipsed that number with four against the Spartans. In fact the Hawkeyes were dead last in the entire conference in sacks and interceptions heading into Week 5.

“We did a reflection together on the way we’ve been playing,” Cooper DeJean said. “This week we wanted to be more aggressive.”

DeJean had a magnificent interception in the back of the south end zone, but Jay Higgins and Nick Jackson provided the aggression — forcing a fumble that sealed the Hawkeyes’ victory late in the fourth quarter.

“It was only a matter of time for the breakthrough,” Higgins said. “I wouldn’t say it was a different play call we ran the same plays we usually do. We play how we usually do. And the ball just happened to fall in our way.”

Sebastian Castro notched his 2nd pick of the season, and Jermari Harris nabbed his first since 2021 with a grab in garbage time.

“It felt good to finally get the ball back to our offense so they can put points on the board.” Harris said.

“You’ve just got to play the game,” head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “Eventually plays will come to you or they won’t, but the most important thing is take care of your spot, your position.”

Water found its level against Michigan State. The Hawkeyes will look to continue their ballhawking ways against Purdue this weekend.

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Iowa defensive back Jermari Harris (27) intercepts a pass intended for Michigan State wide receiver Montorie Foster Jr. (83) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, in Iowa City, Iowa. Iowa won 26-16. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)