March 25, 2023

and the winner Michigan The quarterback battle is… well, no one yet.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh announced Saturday that senior Cade McNamara will start Week 1 against Colorado State, and sophomore JJ McCarthy will start Week 2 against Hawaii, and then play against Hawaii in Week 3 A starter and a backup will be named before the UConn game.

“Both quarterbacks played well — did everything they had in every way to earn the starting spot,” Harbaugh said in a statement. “Coming out of training camp, I just thought we With two quarterbacks, Cade McNamara and JJ McCarthy, we’re pretty confident we’ll win a championship with either of those two behind the center.

“It’s a good thing for our team, but there’s only one ball at a time, and only one quarterback can be on the floor.”

McNamara started every game for Michigan State last season, helping the Wolverines win their first Big Ten championship since 2003 and reach the college football playoffs. He threw for 2,576 yards, 15 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.

McCarthy is one of the top-ranked quarterbacks and a five-star prospect in the 2021 recruiting class. During his freshman season, he supported McNamara and used it sparingly in different offensive combinations. He threw for 516 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions, while adding 124 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.

Speaking Podcast with Michigan AthleticsHarbaugh said he was evaluating who would win “who can throw all the balls” between McNamara and McCarthy.

“Both of them have all the arm flair for throwing all the throws,” Harbaugh said. “Then, it comes down to accuracy, timing, decision-making, and what the defense gives you as a passer.”

Harbaugh gives McNamara an edge in accuracy and decision-making. He also said McNamara “may have a little bit of an edge” as a field general.

Harbaugh gave McCarthy the edge in playmaking, but he said both quarterbacks were “on par” in terms of overall performance in practice.

That’s why Harbaugh wanted to take a look at how each QB performs in a gaming environment and outline what factors he’s considering to decide a winner.

“Points per drive is the closest thing you can get,” Harbaugh said. “But the situation — red zone efficiency, two-minute efficiency, three-point efficiency — really needs to play out in the ball game because who’s the quarterback, when we do that, gives us the best chance at number one. Three, the fourth.

“The only motivation here, the only intention, is what’s best for Michigan football in 2022.”

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