EditorsNote: changed Stanley to Sargent in 3rd graf, change TD run to 2 yards in 5th graf,
Nate Stanley threw three touchdown passes Saturday night, and running back Mekhi Sargent turned in a versatile performance as No. 20 Iowa grounded out a 38-14 season-opening win over Miami (Ohio) at Iowa City.
Stanley completed 21 of 30 passes for 252 yards, spreading the wealth among 10 receivers. He hit Brandon Smith and Oliver Martin with 9-yard scoring strikes, helping the Hawkeyes wipe out a 7-3 second-quarter deficit.
Sargent accounted for 156 all-purpose yards, rushing for 91 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries while catching four passes for 65 yards. Iowa outgained the RedHawks 465-245, controlling the ball for 35:57.
It took the Hawkeyes a little while to get going. They scored first on Keith Duncan’s 21-yard field goal with 1:17 left in the first quarter, but Miami responded with Brett Gabbert’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Jack Sorenson to take the lead at the 11:54 mark of the second quarter.
Stanley’s first scoring strike to Smith put Iowa ahead for good just over 3 1/2 minutes later. His second one to Martin was the first of two touchdowns in less than four minutes of the third quarter. Sargent’s 2-yard run with 6:25 remaining made it 24-7.
Gabbert found Andrew Homer with a 20-yard scoring strike at the 12:53 mark of the fourth quarter to put the RedHawks back in contention, but the Hawkeyes quashed their upset hopes with a 13-play, 75-yard drive that lasted nearly seven minutes. Toren Young powered 2 yards on a fourth-down snap to clinch the win.
Stanley capped his night by hitting Ihmir Smith-Marsette on a bubble screen for a 6-yard touchdown with 3:03 left, six plays after Michael Ojemudia intercepted Gabbert and returned it 14 yards to the Miami 23.
The younger brother of NFL quarterback Blaine Gabbert, Brett Gabbert played a solid game aside from the late pick. He completed 17 of 27 passes for 186 yards.
Iowa held the RedHawks to 59 yards on 25 rushes.
—Field Level Media