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Lightly recruited Canadian becomes Hawkeye hero against Michigan

[ 0 ] November 23, 2013 |

IOWA CITY, Ia. Tevaun Smith lost sight of Jake Rudock’s pass for an instant, and stuck his right hand up in the air. The timing couldn’t have been better.

Smith brought in the football with his right hand, and zigged and zagged his way to a 55-yard third-quarter touchdown catch that ignited Iowa’s 24-21 comeback victory against Michigan on Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.

“The ball got past my eyes a little bit, so I just threw my hands up there to snag it,” said Smith, a sophomore from Ontario, Canada. “It just kind of stuck on my gloves.”

That touchdown was the first of Smith’s career.

“He ran a good route there,” Rudock said. “And let’s face it, he did a good job making it to the end zone on that play.”

Rudock actually called an audible on the play.

More after video

Iowa's Tevaun Smith gets tackled by Michigan's Raymon Taylor during their game at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. David Scrivner / Iowa City Press-Citizen

Iowa’s Tevaun Smith gets tackled by Michigan’s Raymon Taylor during their game at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. David Scrivner / Iowa City Press-Citizen

“The middle was open, so he checked down to a little snap play,” Smith said.

“I was able to find a little hole and grab the ball.”

Smith’s catch was the highlight of his career day. He finished with a career-best five receptions for 97 yards. That included a 21-yard Rudock-to-Smith connection to start a nine-play drive that concluded with Mike Meyer’s winning 34-yard field goal with 4:54 to play.

Smith ran a perfect out route on the play. It’s a route he said he wasn’t capable of running earlier this season.

“Probably not,” the 6-foot-2 Smith said. “I was young at the beginning of the season. I’ve definitely made progress.”

Smith had three catches as a true freshman in 2012. Now he’s showing signs of becoming a playmaker.

“I’m getting open a lot more than I was earlier in the season,” he said. “I’ve improved in every aspect of the game…catching, blocking, everything.”

Smith was looking forward to watching a replay of his one-handed catch and run.

“Once I caught it, I didn’t want them to catch me,” he said.

Lightly recruited, Smith said he’s motivated to make games like Saturday’s commonplace for the remainder of his career.

“I’ve been hungry since Day 1,” Smith said. “I’m just trying to continue to make more plays.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Rick Brown: Rick Brown covers men's basketball for The Des Moines Register and Hawk Central. He's married and the father of two. He also covers golf for the Register. View author profile.

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