Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh is taking a unique approach to determining the team's starting quarterback.
Harbaugh announced on Saturday that Cade McNamara will start the 2022 season opener against Colorado State, while J.J. McCarthy will start the team's second game against Hawaii. Harbaugh said the decision on the starter and backup will then come going into Week 3.
McNamara will be starting his second straight season opener, having beat out McCarthy for the starting job in 2021. As a redshirt sophomore, McNamara led the Wolverines with 2,576 passing yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions. McCarthy appeared in 11 games as a freshman last season and threw for 516 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions while adding 124 rushing yards and two scores.
Earlier this offseason, Harbaugh said he was open to utilizing both quarterbacks throughout the 2022 season.
"Those are the options—one guy, full-time or a combination of two guys playing. Evidenced by last year, we’ve done that. That’s possible," he said in June. "The possibilities will be the same for this year. It could be one starter, it could be one starter, one backup, it could be two guys that contribute and play, as well. We’ll see."
Now, it appears both McNamara and McCarthy will have equal opportunities to shine in Michigan's offense. McCarthy missed a chunk of spring practice while recovering from a shoulder injury, but it looks like he's back at full strength.
The Wolverines have high expectations this year, entering the season ranked No. 8 in the AP preseason poll. The team won its first Big Ten conference title under Harbaugh in 2021.