Cade McNamara throws 2 touchdowns, but Iowa’s offense struggles in win

Cade McNamara threw for 191 yards and two touchdowns in his Hawkeyes debut as No. 25 Iowa 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.

Iowa’s Cade McNamara and Seth Anderson connect for TD

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.

Iowa’s Cade McNamara finds Erick All for TD

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 next Saturday.

Iowa visits Iowa State next Saturday.

Reporting by The Associated Press. 

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