Iowa defeated Utah State 24-14 at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday. And, at long last, Cade McNamara made his Hawkeyes debut. As one of the four team captains, McNamara led the Hawkeyes swarm out of the tunnel and onto the field for the very first time.

“I think it was a really special moment for me to be able to swarm out with my teammates for the first time,” McNamara said. “The longer I’m here, the more I understand how special that is for this program and today’s definitely going to be a day that I’ll never forget.”

McNamara also got to participate in one of the great traditions in all of college football: The wave to the children’s hospital.

“I think it’s the best tradition in all of college football, so for me to just be a small part of that and for me to experience that — I mean, it was an unbelievable moment.”

As for the football: McNamara completed 17 of his 30 pass attempts for 191 yards. His first was a 36-yard touchdown strike to Seth Anderson.

“Oh my gosh, I was so fired up,” McNamara said. “I mean, we had the exact look we wanted.”

He soon threw a second to his old Michigan pal Erick All.

“The amount of the joy that we both had after that happened was amazing,” McNamara said.

After those first two drives, the Hawkeyes offense stalled out and mustered just 110 yards of offense in the second half. It wasn’t perfect, but it was exactly what McNamara wanted.

“We didn’t want to see a bunch of success right out of the gate,” McNamara said. “It’s important for us as a new group that’s trying to game situations for us not to deal with things like that.”

“He’s not only a great leader, but he’s one of my good friends, too,” center Logan Jones said. “Which is really cool. You know, I think he really loves the offensive line and everybody out there. Just being able to play with him. It’s just, it’s different.”

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