Hawkeyes quarterback Deacon Hill made his first career start against Purdue after Cade McNamara’s season-ending ACL surgery. The results, as Hill described, were what you might expect from a QB making his first collegiate start.
“Obviously I think it was pretty shaky,” Hill said. “Especially in the first half, but I’m going to learn a lot from it. It was a great opportunity to proceed and grow as a player. We got the win, fortunately, and so I think there’s a lot of room for growth.”
“I’m going to eat that one, that was on me and just got a little jittery. I have to be better.”
Hill completed just six of his 21 pass attempts for 110 yards. Overall, Hill is completing just 37.5% of his pass attempts, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Just two Hawkeyes caught passes in the game — five receptions from tight end Erick All and one from running back Kaleb Johnson.
All has broken through the past two games with nine catches for 164 yards. And he’s already formed a rapport and a confidence in his new quarterback.
“I’m surprised he said he was jittery because he didn’t show it one bit,” All said. “He’s a really calm guy. It wasn’t really a surprise, obviously some balls could have been better. That’s with every quarterback and he’s getting better every day, there’s no doubt with Deacon with me.”
“I’m certainly not an expert in quarterback play,” head coach Kirk Ferentz joked. “I know this — if you press or try to do too much sometimes the ball sails and I’m guessing that’s probably what it was.”
“But the throw down our right side looked pretty good to me (the touchdown to All in the 4th). An excellent throw and a great job for Erick to finish it.”
Hill performed well enough for the Hawkeyes to win, and now he’ll lead his team against his former program in the Wisconsin Badgers.