With 14 carries for 91 yards and a touchdown rushing and a team-high four receptions for 65 yards through the air, Mekhi Sargent established himself as the feature back in Iowa’s offense in the win over Miami (Ohio).
“Last year i was moreso a third-down back,” Sargent said. “I caught the ball a couple times out of the backfield. My thing is when the ball comes to me i want to catch everything.”
Sargent’s chemistry with both Nate Stanley and Iowa’s offensive line was evident on Saturday.
Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz says another year in the system has made the junior even more valuable.
“I think just experience,” Ferentz said. “He’s more decisive, you can see he’s a lot more confident out there. And he made some really big plays. But he’s a great young guy, just works really hard and found his rhythm.”
Sargent’s versatility was on display in the opening half, even as the Hawks struggled to get going offensively. His 41-yard catch on a screen pass converted a key third down that eventually led to the Hawkeyes’ first touchdown.
“You know, I got good depth,” Sargent said. “I released at a perfect time, same time as the guard, and I seen daylight. I would have loved to have scored a touchdown on that play, but it kind of sparked the team.”
“On film, we had seen that in extra long situations like that, they would lay back and play some deeper, three-deep coverage,” Nate Stanley said. “That was a great call by coach brian and then the offensive line did a great job executing that play.”
Sargent said after the game that last year he was operating on pure talent within this Hawkeyes attack. If Saturday was any indication, the junior could be primed for a big season because of his knowledge of the entire scheme.
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