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#pounditFriday, March 31, 2023

Cade McNamara hints at frustration with Michigan QB battle

Cade McNamara throwing a pass

Sep 3, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback Cade McNamara (12) passes in the first half against the Colorado State Rams at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan Wolverines’ in-season quarterback competition has been questioned by a number of observers, and one of the quarterbacks involved does not seem pleased with how the process is being handled.

Coach Jim Harbaugh announced prior to the start of the season that senior Cade McNamara and sophomore JJ McCarthy would start the first and second games, respectively, before a final decision is made on the season-long starter. After Saturday’s 51-7 win over Colorado State, McNamara, the Week 1 starter, signaled that he was not happy with how the situation was being handled.

“I definitely would say it’s pretty unusual,” McNamara said, via Tony Garcia of the Detroit Free Press. “It was kind of a thing that I wasn’t expecting by the end of camp. I thought I had my best camp, I thought I put myself in a good position, it was just the decision that coach went with.

“You know, however, it’s just not my decision. So however it is, whatever my role is — you know I’m honored my teammates recognized me for the role that I have currently. That’s about it.”

McNamara, who was Michigan’s starter throughout the 2021 season, was voted a team captain by his teammates, which is what he is alluding to here.

The quotes make it pretty obvious that McNamara felt he had done enough to win the starting job. After all, he quarterbacked the Wolverines to a Big Ten title and a College Football Playoff appearance in 2021. McCarthy is a more mobile quarterback and a former top recruit, but the sophomore is simply less experienced, and McNamara did not really do anything to loosen his grip on the job. Clearly, the entire process is fueling some hard feelings, which is probably part of the reason why some who would know have been so critical of it.

McNamara went 9/18 with 136 yards and a touchdown Saturday in a game that became a second half blowout, so he did not really get the chance to impress. McCarthy will get his shot next week against Hawaii.


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