The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Iowa football quarterback Cade McNamara suffers left leg injury, exits game early in win over Michigan State

The Michigan transfer’s time with the Black and Gold has been marred by injuries.
Ayrton Breckenridge
Iowa quarterback Cade McNamara stands on the sidelines with crutches after getting injured in the first quarter during a football game between Iowa and Michigan State at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023. The Hawkeyes defeated the Spartans, 26-16.

Quarterback Cade McNamara’s time with the Iowa football team has been marred by injuries, the latest coming in Saturday’s win against Michigan State.

The Michigan transfer had surgery on his right leg last year before announcing his transfer to Iowa. At Iowa’s open practice on Aug. 12, the Reno, Nevada, native sustained a soft tissue injury to his right quad and did not practice for two weeks. 

After he was named the starter for the Hawkeyes’ season opener against Utah State on Sept. 2, McNamara has started each of the team’s last five games, taking each week to recuperate back to 100 percent.

But on Saturday night, McNamara was put back on the road to recovery.

Just halfway through the first quarter — after starting 3-of-5 for 46 passing yards — McNamara scrambled out of the pocket under pressure and rushed past the line of scrimmage. Attempting to make a cut inside, he pushed off of his left leg, stumbled to the turf, and did not get up.

McNamara was helped off of the field by medical staff, unable to put any pressure on his left leg.

After some time in the medical tent, the starting quarterback was carted off of the sideline and into the tunnel.

Iowa junior cornerback Cooper DeJean said the Hawkeye defense’s motto was to keep fighting and executing its job.

“[McNamara’s injury] is something you can’t control as a team,” he said. “Obviously, Cade’s a big leader for us … but as a defense, we were just focused on our job and what we can do to stop [Michigan State] and help [the offense] with field position.”

Iowa senior tight end and fellow Michigan transfer Erick All was all smiles in his postgame press conference after his performance in the evening — which included four receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown. 

But his excitement quickly faded as he reflected on his Wolverine-turned-Hawkeye quarterback’s injury.

“I caught him in the training room coming back here at halftime, and I just loved on him and told him I have his back and was praying for him and to keep his head up and keep fighting,” All said. “It’s awful.”

Shortly after halftime, McNamara was ruled out for the rest of the game. He ultimately returned to the sideline, albeit on crutches and in street clothes with his left leg wrapped. 

He was only encouraging of sophomore second-string quarterback and Wisconsin transfer Deacon Hill, who filled in for McNamara.

“[He told me] ‘Do your job; keep doing what you’re doing,’” Hill said. “Obviously, it’s very nice to have him down there and help me.”

Hill threw for one touchdown, one interception, and 115 yards on 11-of-27 passing, helping the Hawkeyes on the way to a 26-16 win.

Moving forward, as the Hawkeyes host Purdue next at Kinnick Stadium on Oct. 7, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said the team will not know McNamara’s status until early next week, so Hill will move into the starting role as the team waits for an update.

Still, Hill’s sights were set less on the decision and more on his own improvement.

“I’m just focused on myself and what I can control and what I can do to be better for this team,” he said. “Whatever role this team needs me to be, I’ll be that.”

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About the Contributors
Colin Votzmeyer
Colin Votzmeyer, Assistant Sports Editor
Colin Votzmeyer is a junior at the University of Iowa studying journalism and mass communication with minors in history and criminology, law, and justice. Prior to his role as assistant sports editor, he previously served as digital producer, news reporter covering crime, cops, and courts, and sports reporter covering track and field and women's basketball. He plans on attending law school after his graduation with hopes of pursuing a career as a criminal defense attorney.
Ayrton Breckenridge
Ayrton Breckenridge, Managing Visuals Editor
Ayrton Breckenridge is the Managing Visuals Editor at The Daily Iowan. He is a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and cinema. This is his fourth year working for the DI.