With Tevaun Smith in the NFL now, the Hawkeyes needed someone to step up to help aid their receiving core. Everyone knew that C.J. Beathard would continue to be a game manager and have a strong connection with Iowa’s leading receiver in 2015, Matt VandeBerg. Although, it was a new Smith that shined in week one, Jerminic Smith.
VandeBerg still led the team with four catches and 99 yards, although Jerminic Smith came out wanting to prove that he could be the second receiver Iowa is looking for. Coming into the game, Smith only had six catches and 141 yards during his freshman season.
The sophomore receiver had his coming out game in week one, though. He caught three passes for 51 yards and his first career touchdown. With George Kittle dropping an easy touchdown and being nonexistent for most of the game, someone else needed to step up.
It wasn’t just his 38-yard reception on a flea flicker or his clutch 12-yard touchdown on fourth down, Smith flashed his versatility right away.
Following his flea flicker catch, LeShun Daniels scored on the next play with a 43-yard run. While it was Smith’s reception that brought them in that position, his block on Daniels run helped set him loose. During just his fourth career game, he had a highlight catch, a touchdown reception and a key block that helped create the longest run of the night. Not to mention he also had a 10-yard gain on an end around.
It’s just one game but with Riley McCarron dropping passes left and right, and George Kittle not recording one reception, Beathard needed someone to throw to. If Smith can continue being this versatile then he’ll continue to see his role in the offense grow, and his speed utilized on end arounds more often. With a couple of more games until Big Ten play, Smith has a chance to cement himself as the team’s second best receiver heading into Big Ten play.
Next: Anthony Nelson