Iowa Cade McNamara Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

After a strong first month of the season got them off to a 4-1 start, the Iowa Hawkeyes will likely face an uphill climb for the rest of the season. Speaking to the media Tuesday, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz confirmed that quarterback Cade McNamara tore his ACL in the Hawkeyes’ 26-16 win over the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday.

McNamara left the game early in the first quarter after a non-contact injury to his left leg. He couldn’t put any weight on the leg as he was helped off the field. He also suffered an injury to his right quad in practice in August on another non-contact injury but was cleared for Iowa’s season opener and had been navigating through the injury, recording 505 passing yards and four touchdown passes in the four games he played in prior to the ACL injury.

The quarterback started his career at Michigan and helped the Wolverines reach their first College Football Playoff in 2021 when he threw for 2,576 yards and 15 touchdowns. He lost the starting job to JJ McCarthy following the first game of the 2022 season and appeared sparingly as a backup before suffering a season-ending knee injury in Michigan’s game against UConn. McNamara entered the transfer portal following Michigan’s regular-season finale.

McNamara reportedly plans to return to the Hawkeyes for the 2024 season.

[Adam Rittenberg]