Iowa suffered an injury on Saturday that could potentially derail their season and Nebraska football appears to be a beneficiary of the massive loss.
Nebraska football fans know better than anyone that injuries are both a side effect of the sport and simultaneously the thing they dread on every play. After Saturday’s game, Iowa Hawkeyes fans would certainly agree with that second part.
Against the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday night, Hawks quarterback Cade McNamara suffered an injury that appeared fairly serious at the time. On Monday afternoon, 247Sports confirmed that Iowa expects the transfer quarterback to miss the rest of the 2023 season.
That’s a catastrophic loss for a Hawkeyes team that was hoping McNamara would offer their offense a boost this season. It appears to be a gain for Nebraska football and every other team hoping to win the Big Ten West division.
It’s never a good thing when a player goes down to injury. Especially one that is going to keep them out for the rest of the year. It’s even worse when it’s possible that the injury could mean the end of a career. McNamara is a senior and even if he can get another year technically, one has to wonder if he’s going to want to come back.
I say all that to make it perfectly clear that I’m not celebrating McNamara’s injury in any way. At the same time, an already winnable Big Ten West just became a bit more of a tossup.
Iowa still won their game against a Michigan State Spartans team that is a hot mess, 26-16. It seems unlikely that Michigan State is going to win another game this year. Their talent level seems to be bad enough that wins would be hard to come by even if Mel Tucker hadn’t been fired.
McNamara’s replacement, Deacon Hill led the Hawkeyes on a comeback, but he completed just 11-of-27 passes for 115 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. In other words, he’s not Cade Mcnamara.
Iowa, 4-1 and 1-1 in conference next plays two Big Ten West rivals in Purdue and Wisconsin that could all but eliminate Iowa from the division race.
Meanwhile, Nebraska football has a chance to handle it’s business and first close the gap (sitting at 0-2 in the B1G) and then put some distance between itself and its border rival.
The injury is one that certainly seems like it will shake up the balance of power in an already wild West.