Iowa starting quarterback Cade McNamara will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL, Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz announced on Tuesday. The result is a gut punch for a transfer hoping to make the most of a second chance. It's also bad break for a teamto retain offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz.
The non-contact injury occurred early in the Hawkeyes' 26-16 win over Michigan State when McNamara landed awkwardly on his left knee while scrambling. He was helped off the field by trainers, and broadcast cameras later showed McNamara struggling to put weight on the leg. The first-year transfer from Michigan was 3 for 5 passing for 46 yards at the time of the injury. Sophomore Deacon Hill threw for 115 yards and a score off the bench.
McNamara was the headliner of the team's 2023 transfer class, alongside former Michigan teammate Erick All at tight end. The pair of seasoned and capable offensive upgrades, coupled with the Hawkeyes' usual defensive and special teams prowess, paved way for hopes of a higher ceiling. McNamara was limited throughout spring and preseason camps with various injuries, though, and the Hawkeyes enter October averaging 22.2 points per game. That's 101st nationally and about a field goal off the season-long threshold for Ferentz. McNamara completed 51.1% of his pass attempts for 505 yards with four touchdowns and three picks.
Hill now appears to be the next man up. The Wisconsin transfer played in mostly mop-up duty before entering the Michigan State game in Week 5.
McNamara joined Iowa after three seasons with the Wolverines. He served as the starter in 2021 en route to a Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff berth. He was benched in favor of J.J. McCarthy in the early stages of the 2022 campaign, however, prompting a transfer to the Hawkeyes.