Michigan HC Jim Harbaugh: McNamara, McCarthy QB Battle 'As Fair As It Can Be'

Adam WellsSeptember 5, 2022

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

Coming off an easy 51-7 win over Colorado State in Saturday's season opener, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh doesn't sound any closer to deciding on who will be the No. 1 quarterback going forward.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Harbaugh said the coaching staff is doing what it can to make the competition between Cade McNamara and J.J. McCarthy "as fair as it can be."

Harbaugh has been very vague dating back to preseason practices when offering insights into what he's looking for from his quarterbacks.

When asked about the situation last week, Harbaugh made biblical references.

"For me to stand up here, no person—that’s biblical—knows what the future holds. It’s a process based on performance," he explained. "But we’re not going to withhold any good thing. Both have been tremendous quarterbacks. We think that both are capable of leading our team to a championship."

If the process is based on performance, McNamara didn't have a great audition in his first outing. The senior was given the start against Colorado State. He finished 9-of-18 for 136 yards and one touchdown.

McCarthy took over for two second-half offensive possessions on Saturday. The Wolverines scored touchdowns on both drives, but he was asked to throw the ball only four times. The sophomore completed all of his attempts for 30 yards.

A member of the 2021 recruiting class, McCarthy was a 5-star prospect and the No. 25 overall player, per 247Sports' composite rankings. He appeared in 11 games as a true freshman, going 34-of-59 for 516 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions.

Harbaugh intends to start McCarthy when the Wolverines host Hawaii at the Big House on Saturday.


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