Iowa QB Cade McNamara sidelined by leg injury

Story originally published on Monday, Oct. 2, at 3:03 p.m. Eastern.
Updated on Thursday, Oct. 5, at 8:32 a.m. Eastern.

According to a report from Iowa Hawkeye insider David Eickholt of 247Sports and CBS Sports, Iowa quarterback Cade McNamara will likely miss the rest of the season due to a leg injury sustained in this past Saturday’s 26-16 non-covering win over Michigan St. Since Eickholt’s original report, more testing revealed a torn ACL for McNamara.

Kirk Ferentz’s team improved to 4-1 straight up and 2-2-1 against the spread with the win over the Spartans, who covered the number as 10.5-point road underdogs. The 42 combined points went ‘over’ the 36.5-point total.

Iowa is now 1-1 in Big Ten play. The Hawkeyes, who took their only loss at Penn St. by a 31-0 score in Week 4, posted a pair of home wins in non-conference play over Utah St. (24-14) and Western Michigan (41-10), and they also captured a 20-13 win at Iowa St.

The ‘under’ is 3-2 overall for Iowa.

Before McNamara was carted off with the injury in the first half, he completed 3-of-5 passes for 46 yards. McNamara was replaced by sophomore QB Deacon Hill, who connected on just 11-of-27 throws for 115 yards and one touchdown with an interception.

In five starts this season, McNamara completed 51.1 percent of his passes for 505 yards with a 4/3 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Hill will get his first career start Saturday at home vs. Purdue. As of Monday afternoon, most books had the Hawkeyes installed as 2.5-point home ‘chalk.’ The total was 41 or 41.5 points, while the Boilermakers were +120 on the money line.

Hill started his career at Wisconsin, where he arrived from Santa Barbara, CA., as a 6-foot-3, 230-pound four-star QB prospect in the 2021 class. According to the 247Sports Composite, Hill was ranked #39 among QBs in the 2021 class.

In two seasons with the Badgers, Hill appeared in only one game and didn’t attempt a pass. He transferred to Iowa after the 2022 campaign.

Hill appeared in three of Iowa’s first four games, completing 4-of-8 passes for 49 yards. For the season, he’s now connected on 15-of-35 throws (42.9%) for 164 yards with a 1/1 TD-INT ratio.

McNamara isn’t the only injury Ferentz’s club is dealing with going into Week 6. RB Kaleb Johnson hasn’t played since the Week 2 win in Ames.

Johnson ran for a team-best 779 yards and six TDs last year, averaging 5.2 yards per carry. In two games this year, he had 91 rushing yards and one TD on 34 attempts (2.7 YPC).

Johnson has shown improvement this week, though, participating in multiple practice that have Ferentz and his staff optimistic that he might return Saturday against the Boilermakers.

Iowa tight end Luke Lachey suffered a season-ending injury in the win over Cyclones. In the Hawkeyes’ first two games, Lachey had already caught 10 balls for 131 yards. He had 25 receptions for 362 yards and three TDs in 2022.

Reserve WRs Reese Osgood (undisclosed) and Jacob Bostick (foot) are also sidelined indefinitely with injuries. RB Jaziun Patterson has missed back-to-back games with an undisclosed injury, and he’s been ruled ‘out’ vs. Purdue. On a radio appearance Wednesday, Ferentz said that Patterson is “a week or two away still.”

In Iowa’s first three games, Patterson produced 104 rushing yards, one TD and a 5.0 YPC average. He also had two receptions for 19 yards.

Iowa has lost four of the last six head-to-head games against Purdue, going 1-5 ATS. However, the Hawkeyes did win 24-3 at Purdue last year as 3.5-point road underdogs. The ‘under’ has cashed in four straight Iowa-Purdue games.

They’ll square off in Iowa City on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern on Peacock.