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Michigan’s Cade McNamara doesn’t expect quarterback fight with JJ McCarthy in ‘unusual’ competition

ANN ARBOR, Michigan — After Michigan’s 51-7 victory over Colorado, Cade McNamara said he didn’t expect this season to be a battle between sophomore JJ McCarthy and quarterback.

Jim Harbaugh announced before the first game that the two would battle for starting positions, with McNamara starting the first game of the season and McCarthy starting the second. McNamara was the starter last season, contributing to Michigan’s 12-2 record, his first Big 10 title under Harbaugh, and his college football run to the playoffs.

“I definitely think it’s pretty unusual,” McNamara said. I thought I was in a good position and that was the coach’s decision.”

McNamara finished the first game, gaining 136 yards on 9 of 18 passes, 61 of them for a touchdown pass to Roman Wilson for a touchdown. Harbaugh admitted that there were some drops in his pass, but he was content when asked about his assessment of McNamara’s performance.

“I thought he was really good,” Harbaugh said. “He’s had a few balls that he’s dropped. Like I said, pretty good execution, no issues. When it’s done on offense, you have to give the quarterback credit, too.” Moving football, scoring points, he’s playing a really good game.”

McNamara said Harbaugh didn’t want to rotate both quarterbacks all season, as he saw part of last season. , McCarthy and McNamara continue to divide roles as the battle progresses.

“I was confident in my performance in camp,” McNamara said. “I certainly felt that way. But it’s not my decision. So whatever it is, whatever my role is, I want my teammates to acknowledge me for the role I currently have. That’s about it.”

McCarthy bought time in the second half against Colorado State, completing four of his four passes for 30 yards and running for 50 yards and a touchdown. He said he thought it was a good time to bring him into the game because the Wolverines were holding a comfortable lead to give him a chance to evaluate the quarterback.

“(McCarthy) was electric when he came in, no doubt about it,” Harbaugh said. It’s been great to see him playing cool and calm, I don’t think it was a waste, but he’s also doing a great job and he’s really improved. As expected, it will be

McCarthy will prove his claim to the starting spot with a chance to start at home against Hawaii. McNamara may also get the snap if the result is similar to the first game, but the final decision will be two-handed.

“It’s okay. This is something I’ve dealt with any part of my career,” McNamara said. Was it last season, this season?

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