“It is not good,” Ferentz said. “Not positive. I was suspicious of that the other night. He’s got an ACL injury, so that’s going to have to be repaired. He’ll be out for the season, stay with the team, be supportive and continue to be a part of our team.”
In relief of McNamara, Hill, who transferred from Wisconsin after last season, had 11-of-27 passing for 115 yards with a touchdown and an interception against the Spartans.
“Deacon stepped in and did a real nice job,” Ferentz said. “Not a big surprise. We’ve seen great improvement with him the last eight weeks. But Cade’s missed a lot of practice time, so that’s helped [Hill] move forward a little bit.”
McNamara, who led Michigan to the Big Ten title and the College Football Playoff in 2021, throwing for 2,576 yards and 15 touchdowns, came into the program amid high expectations after the Hawkeyes’ offense struggled for much of the 2022 season.
In four-plus games this season, he had thrown for 505 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions.
“It’s just a really tough break — considering the last two years for him,” Ferentz said. “He’s had more of his share of obstacles and challenges from a health standpoint. Your heart goes out to guys when they’re fighting hard to go out and have a chance to compete and don’t have that opportunity due to health challenges. But the good news is he should be fine once the recovery is over. A tough deal for him.”
Ferentz added that he believes McNamara’s “intention” is to return to Iowa for his final year of eligibility in 2024 and said he hopes McNamara will be 100 percent healthy by June after having surgery next week.
Iowa’s offense ranks second-to-last in the FBS in averaging 240.8 yards per game, and its 133.8 passing yards per game sits third worst in the country.
The Hawkeyes (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten West) host Purdue (2-3, 1-1 Big Ten West) on Saturday.