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Ex-Michigan QB may not be enough to upgrade lousy Iowa offense

Former Michigan QB Cade McNamara recently announced his intention to transfer to Iowa, but he’s probably not enough to save a pitiful offense.

With six Iowa wide receivers transferring from the program since the start of the 2021 season — including Keegan Johnson and Arland Bruce IV in the past week — Iowa has a dearth of talent in its wide receiver room.

Add the fact that Hawkeyes offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz remains on staff, and it feels like McNamara will not be enough to turn things around in Iowa City. Ferentz’s offense ranked 130th in 2022.

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz, of course, plays the optimist.

“He impressed the hell out of me,” Ferentz said of McNamara, referencing his play at Michigan.

McNamara, a former four-star prospect, started 17 games in three seasons at Michigan, completing 63.1% of his passes for 3,181 yards and 21 touchdowns to seven interceptions.

In his one full season as starter, in 2021, McNamara had a 64.2% completion percentage and threw for 2,576 yards and 15 touchdowns. 

McNamara clearly is an upgrade over maligned Iowa starter Spencer Petras, who threw for only five touchdowns as a senior in 2022. In 2021, his best season at Iowa, he threw for a measly 1,880 yards and 10 touchdowns with nine interceptions. 

On the “Field of 12” podcast, former Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg said McNamara fits the Iowa offense.

Hackenberg’s comments highlight one of the main issues facing the Hawkeyes: a lack of perimeter playmakers.

Unless Iowa gets several star wideouts in the transfer portal or in recruiting, the Hawkeyes won’t have more than a middling offense in 2023.

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