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Cade McNamara transferred from Michigan to Iowa during the offseason. It was an interesting decision, considering how awful the Hawkeyes offense was in 2022, but those struggles are part of his reason for the move.
McNamara, a former four-star recruit in the Class of 2019, started all 14 games in 2021. However, after getting picked off twice in the College Football Playoff semifinal game against Georgia, he was benched in favor of backup J.J. McCarthy.
While an open competition was held between McCarthy and McNamara in 2022, it was the former who ultimately got the nod. The latter attempted just 25 passes on the year.
As a result, after Michigan beat Ohio State to close out the regular season, McNamara bounced. He hit the transfer portal with two seasons of eligibility left.
Just a few days later, McNamara committed to the Hawkeyes.
Iowa won seven games in 2022 and will play in the Music City Bowl. The winning record comes despite one of the most inept offenses in recent history.
Brian Ferentz, son of head coach Kirk Ferentz, coached his sixth season as offensive coordinator. It did not go well and the Hawkeyes were abysmal on that side of the ball.
Iowa finished 130th in total offense, 122nd in scoring offense, 123rd in passing offense and 122nd in rushing offense. There are 131 teams.
It was the worse Big Ten offense in the modern era and that is not hyperbole. The Hawkeyes averaged just 255.4 yards per game, which was its lowest total since before 1998.
To put that number in perspective, Iowa went 1-10 in Ferentz’s debut season as head coach. His offense averaged 300.3 yards per game that year.
Rutgers, the second-worst offense in the Big Ten and 127th-ranked offense in the country, averaged 30 more yards per game than its cross-divisional foes. It won just four games.
So why would Cade McNamara transfer to a program with such a terrible offense?
McNamara says that he feeds off of the doubt. During a podcast appearance with ‘The Room,’ the 22-year-old quarterback said that he can’t wait to prove everybody wrong.
He wants the haters to keep coming for the Hawkeyes. He wants the jokes to fuel his fire.
But, for me, it’s the biggest opportunity to flip (the offense). That’s what I get fired up about. Please, just keep on saying it’s the sh*ttiest offense in college football. Please just think we are gonna be so shitty next year. Please.— Cade McNamara on Iowa’s offense, via The Room
As the starting quarterback, presumably, for the second-worst offense in college football from 2022, McNamara has a large task ahead of him. It will be extremely impressive if he can turn it around. And if he can, considering that Iowa won seven games this season, there is a chance to make some noise.
But in the meantime, it is important for both McNamara and society as a whole, to continue to talk about how awful Iowa’s offense was this season. It was so, so bad.