ESPN shares diagnosis of Iowa, Cade McNamara’s QB tier
It is the biggest storyline for the Iowa Hawkeyes in the 2023 season and really has been that way for the last three or four seasons. Can the Hawkeyes get adequate enough quarterback play to make them serious contenders?
The defense and special teams show up week after week, year after year. The point has come for the offense and offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz where it is make-or-break time. To help that situation, Iowa landed Cade McNamara, a transfer from the Michigan Wolverines.
Sure, he is undoubtedly an upgrade at the position for Iowa. But just how good can Cade McNamara make the Hawkeyes’ offense? ESPN’s quarterback tier rankings believe he is good enough to stabilize things, but has a cap due to the scheme and staff. He is in their “low ceiling, high floor” tier of rankings.
Here is what ESPN’s David Hale had to say about McNamara and Iowa.
There’s a thin line between bravery and masochism, and we’re eager to learn which side McNamara is on after his transfer to Iowa.
Two years ago, he was busy leading Michigan to the College Football Playoff.
Now, his sights are squarely set on averaging 25 points per game.
Oh, sure, Iowa has had single-digit touchdown passes in two of the past three seasons. And yes, the Hawkeyes’ leading pass catcher from a year ago is gone. And we’re aware that Iowa hasn’t had a starting QB complete 60% of his throws since 2015.
But maybe things will be different now.
Not the offensive coordinator or the scheme or the jokes. Those will still be the same. But something. – David Hale, ESPN
One thing breaking McNamara’s way is the opening slate for the Hawkeyes sees two games, the season opener against Utah State, and Week 3 against Western Michigan, which should give him ample time to settle in and find some rhythm.
McNamara doesn’t have to do it all for Iowa, either. He isn’t going to be asked to consistently throw for 300 yards a game, sling it 50 times, or any of that. What Iowa needs is the drive-extending third down conversion, the early down play-action completion, and a passing threat in the red zone to help alleviate 11 sets of eyes focusing on the run game.
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