Michigan Wolverines quarterback JJ McCarthy passes against the Colorado State Rams during the second half on Saturday, September 1.  3, 2022.

QB JJ McCarthy is eager to make his first career start in Michigan football

Three days after Cade McNamara added several new layers to Michigan football’s quarterback competition with scathing comments during a postgame press conference, the challenger for that job got the chance to tell his version of the story.

Sophomore quarterback JJ McCarthy, who did not pitch in spring training as he rehabilitated from a labral injury, spoke to the media Tuesday night for his first formal interview since the bye week last last season. McCarthy had 80 total yards and a touchdown in relief of McNamara in the win over Colorado State and will be the No. 1 quarterback for Saturday’s date with Hawaii.

McCarthy seemed to agree with McNamara’s suggestion that head coach Jim Harbaugh would rather have a clear pick for the starting role than move forward with another rotation. It’s an idea Harbaugh briefly grappled with in his Monday press conference before recycling his line on adopting one of three potential outcomes: McNamara wins the job outright; McCarthy wins the job outright; or the race remains too close to be announced and the coaches use both.

“MAKE IT AS FAIR AS POSSIBLE”:Jim Harbaugh on the Michigan QB controversy

But it certainly feels like the quarterbacks are accelerating toward a final audition at Michigan Stadium this weekend, with Harbaugh and his team making their most important pick in the 36 hours between the end of Saturday’s game and the start of UM’s preparation for UConn. in week 3. The pressure on both players is immense even if the caliber of the opponent is not.

Here’s what McCarthy had to say:

On Harbaugh’s explanation of the quarterback battle: “At first he just told both of us that the best player was going to play. It’s an open competition and go ahead and be us. Whatever has to happen will happen. Afterwards he just gave us all the recap of how he doesn’t have a clear and decisive decision on who the guy is going to be, so he’s going to give us chances in the first two games.”

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