IOWA CITY -- Kyle McCann's first play under center didn't go so well. He fumbled but recovered.
Things picked up a little from there.
McCann, a redshirt freshman, took over for junior starter Randy Reiners to start the second half. What Reiners took 14 attempts and two quarters to do, McCann bettered in half the time (seven attempts, one quarter).
Reiners struggled to 104 yards passing, threw an interception, lost a fumble and was sacked three times.
On the other hand, McCann shook off the botched snap and started throwing strikes on Iowa's third possession of the half. It continued throughout the quarter and led Iowa to 28 points:
Completion to Bashir Yamini for 12 yards.
Hookup with Ryan Barton for 20.
Barton for 39 more.
Chris Oliver over the middle in the back of the end zone for 22 and a touchdown.
Barton again for 55.
As a result, Iowa coach Hayden Fry has a genuine quarterback controversy brewing. It wouldn't seem to be a full-fledged season without one.
``It wasn't a bad day for Randy,'' Fry said. ``A guy gets flattened and the whole crowd thinks it's his fault.''
Reiners, though, was in obvious disgust after the game.
``Some days you just don't have it,'' Reiners said. ``It's pretty tough -- the mental mistakes, the fumble, then I throw an interception. That stuff can't happen against good teams. You have to take me out.''
Reiners hinted that he still might be mentally consumed with the unexpected loss of his sister, who died a month ago.
``I don't know,'' Reiners said with his thoughts trailing. ``I can't blame nothin' on nothin'.''
In Reiners' defense, protection from the offensive line was poor. It got suddenly better when McCann took the field.
``It's pretty obvious that Kyle had the best day of the quarterbacks,'' said Fry, who also used third-stringer Scott Mullen in the fourth quarter. ``He did a good job. The blocking got better, and he threw perfect passes, just like he does in practice.''
McCann, who is also a member of Tom Davis' basketball team once the pigskin season concludes, was ready for his number to be called.
``You never know when those things are going to happen,'' McCann said. ``When it did, I just went back, loosened up and collected my thoughts. I wasn't all that nervous. You're a backup quarterback; you don't always know what you're role is going to be. All you can do is to prepare to play a lot.'
New quarterbacks coach Chuck Long says there was no surprise with McCann's effectiveness.
``He's like that in practice everyday, just completions,'' Long said.
Long, the former Iowa QB great, won't be a decision for the starter against Iowa State next Saturday at Kinnick until some time can be spent with the game film.
``I don't like to make any comment one way or the other until I watch the film,'' he said. ``You know how it goes, it's never anybody's fault. Randy happened to have a tough day, but he's a tough guy. He'll bounce back.''
It might be customary to see more than just the scheduled starter under center.
``I've said all along that we're going to need all three of them this season,'' Long said. ``It's my job as quarterbacks coach to make sure they're all ready.''