football Edit

McNamara, Offense Crater in Blowout Loss to Penn State

STATE COLLEGE -- Cade McNamara finished 5-14 for 42 yards yards in Iowa's 31-0 loss to Penn State on Saturday night. The Hawkeye offense only ran 33 plays and gained four total first downs. Back up quarterback Deacon Hill went under center for the entirety of the fourth quarter with the game out of reach and McNamara dealing with hand cramps.

"It's tough when you run that few plays," McNamara lamented postgame. "We've got to be able to get some first downs. When you're running so few plays it's tough to get into a rhythm."

"That's kind of what their defense is designed to do. When you're in third-and-long, it's difficult to block six guys when they're bring the pressure. It's difficult to get the ball past the sticks when they're expecting that. If we were able to move the ball a little bit better on first and second down, I think we could've put ourselves in some better situations. We kind of played into their defense a little bit, so I think that's why they had a lot of success on third downs."


Don't miss out on any of our exclusive football, basketball, and recruiting coverage. Sign up with Go Iowa Awesome here.

Only two of Iowa's four first downs with McNamara on the field came; the first came on Iowa's opening possession, which ended in a punt and the second (gained by McNamara himself on an 18-yard run) came on Iowa's next possession, which ended in a lost fumble.

"I think it was a summary of a lot of things," McNamara said. "There were some things that were out of our control that didn't go our way. It was tough to get some momentum. Credit to them, they played really good defense, but I think there were just some situations we were pretty unlucky that took the air out of us."

Though the first half didn't go their way, culminating in a10-0 deficit at halftime, Kirk Ferentz said things fully went awry over the final 30 minutes of play.

"Nothing was good in the second half," he said. "Sometimes things just kind of snowball. That's really what took place tonight. In the first half, we had the first drive and then the turnover. After that we just seemed to lose momentum. They're a good defensive football team. So, now, we'll go back to work."

"It was a combination of the fact that we weren't sustaining drives. That starts wearing on you defensively. But, you know, on their first [scoring] possession they took it and drove it 70 or 75 yards. At some point, you've got to get off the field, too. This was just one of those games that not much looked good or went well. We've got to learn from it and put it behind us."

Ferentz added that he doesn't expect drastic changes to the offense going forward, despite Iowa's first shutout loss since 2000.

"We're not going to create a new playbook," he said. "I'm not a wholesale believer in changing because you had a bad game. It was not a good game tonight. I think we made progress in three weeks. Tonight was disappointing."

"We played a really good football team. We'll keep it in perspective. We'll evaluate things over the course of 12 games, and we've got eight to play. We've got quality guys and we've made improvement. I think we're doing a lot of things really well, not tonight, necessarily. We're not going to just start over again in any phase."

Through the struggles, McNamara maintains that he and the Hawkeye offense will bounce back.

"I see this as a learning experience for our team," he said. "This is not a reflection of our team. We will be better because of this and our offense will be better, too."

"I think this team can beat that team. I don't think tonight is a reflection of the offense, defense or special teams. This team is better than what we played tonight. I believe that with my whole heart, and I can promise that we'll be fueled and motivated for the rest of the season. I can promise you we will get better after today."