Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is coming off a banner season, finally beating Ohio State, winning the Big Ten Championship and getting the Wolverines to the College Football Playoff.
Now, as the college football season inches closer, Harbaugh needs to figure out who will be starting under center in week one of the 2022 season.
Harbaugh spoke at Big Ten Media Days Tuesday and told reporters there will be a competition between redshirt junior Cade McNamara and sophomore J.J. McCarthy.
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“Yeah. Cade’s the starting quarterback,” Harbaugh told reporters, according to 247 Sports. “When we line up for the first practice, he’s going to be taking … he’ll be with the first team. Now, eventually, over the training camp, J.J. will get the same opportunity that Cade will. They’re both going to get a ton of reps. There will be time to have that competition, determine who the starting quarterback is for the first game.”
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McNamara was the starter in 2021, passing for 2,576 yards and 15 touchdowns while leading Michigan to its first Big Ten championship since 2004. However, McCarthy is a highly touted recruit and enters his sophomore season with some experience under his belt.
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McCarthy appeared in 11 games as a freshman, accounting for 640 yards of offense with five touchdowns.
“So the separators will be just who plays better, plays the best,” Harbaugh said, according to 247 Sports. “They’re both really good. And No. 1 is how many times can he just go in and lead the team down the field and put points on the board. That’s the main criteria. Which guy can do that? Cade did it over 50 percent of the time in games last year. JJ, I haven’t done the numbers on JJ, but it seemed like a lot every time he got in and completed the drive.”
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Michigan begins the regular season on September 3 at home against Colorado State before their first conference game against Maryland September 24.