Cade McNamara throws for two touchdowns in his debut as No. 25 Iowa defeats Utah State 24-14

Iowa quarterback Cade McNamara (12) throws a pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Utah State, Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Cade McNamara threw for 191 yards and two touchdowns in his Iowa debut as the No. 25 Hawkeyes defeated Utah State 24-14 on Saturday.

The touchdowns came on Iowa’s first two offensive possessions, and the Hawkeyes didn’t get into the end zone again until Kaleb Johnson’s 3-yard run in the fourth quarter. Iowa, which had one of the worst offenses in the nation last season, finished with 284 yards.

McNamara, who transferred from Michigan during the offseason, was listed as questionable for the game with a quad injury to his right leg, but he made an immediate impact with a 36-yard touchdown throw to Seth Anderson on Iowa’s second play from scrimmage. It was the first passing touchdown on the opening series of the season in Kirk Ferentz’s 25 years as the Hawkeyes’ coach, and the first for an Iowa team since 1991.

McNamara threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Erick All, another transfer from Michigan, on Iowa’s next drive. Drew Stevens’ 20-yard field goal seven seconds before halftime accounted for Iowa’s only other points until the fourth quarter.

Utah State (0-1) got field goals from William Testa and Elliott Nimrod and a 16-yard touchdown pass from Cooper Legas to Terrell Vaughn late in the fourth quarter.


The Hawkeyes should be able to stay in the rankings despite the offensive struggles that looked a lot like last season. McNamara provided early offensive life, but Iowa had problems moving the ball after that.


Seven Iowa players were listed as out for the game, including defensive lineman Noah Shannon, who is appealing his season suspension from the NCAA for wagering on sports.

Among the other players listed as out were Jermari Harris, who was No. 1 on the depth chart at right cornerback, and offensive lineman Beau Stephens, listed at No. 2 on the depth chart at right guard.

The Big Ten instituted a policy this season that all conference teams release an injury report two hours before game time.


Utah State: hosts Idaho State on next Saturday.

Iowa: visits Iowa State next Saturday.


AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll