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#pounditTuesday, February 7, 2023

Articles tagged: Michigan Football

Michigan’s Donovan Edwards offers explanation for anti-Semitic tweet

Donovan Edwards on the practice field

Michigan running back Donovan Edwards warms up before the Orange Bowl against Georgia on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Florida. Credit: Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Michigan running back Donovan Edwards was criticized this week after he retweeted an anti-Semitic comment, and he has since claimed it was not intentional.

Edwards, a sophomore running back, retweeted an anti-Semitic comment that another Twitter user made in the wake of the Kanye West scandal. If you look at Edwards’ timeline, you will see that almost all of his Twitter activity is related to race. Despite that, he insists the anti-Semitic retweet was a “glitch.”

Most people will have a tough time believing that excuse. Though, all that really matters for Edwards is whether Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh believes him.

Michigan is preparing to take on rival Michigan State on Saturday. Edwards has played a significant role for the Wolverines this season. He has 43 carries for 307 yards and four touchdowns. He had some strong comments this week about Michigan’s big rivalry game.

Michigan RB Donovan Edwards retweets anti-Semitic comment

Donovan Edwards on the practice field

Michigan running back Donovan Edwards warms up before the Orange Bowl against Georgia on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Florida. Credit: Kirthmon F. Dozier/USA TODAY NETWORK

A Michigan football player is facing criticism ahead of Saturday’s big game against Michigan State because of his social media activity.

Donovan Edwards, a sophomore running back, retweeted an anti-Semitic comment in the wake of the Kanye West scandal. The tweet came from an account with the handle @TheXFilmXLord. The tweet was a broad, negative generalization that said “Jewish people will literally tell you that they want you to kill your own and humiliate your women simply because they have children to feed.”

If you look at Edwards’ timeline, you will see that almost all of his Twitter activity is related to race. In this particular instance, he is sure to hear from Michigan about what he retweeted.

Michigan’s largest donor, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, is Jewish. That is just one of many reasons there are a lot of people in Ann Arbor who will not be happy about Edwards’ retweet.

Edwards has played a significant role for the Wolverines this season. He has 43 carries for 307 yards and four touchdowns. He had some strong comments this week about Michigan’s upcoming game against rival Michigan State.

Jim Harbaugh accuses Penn State defense of illegal move

Jim Harbaugh angry

Jim Harbaugh accused the Penn State defense of doing something illegal during the fourth quarter against the Wolverines.

Michigan was leading 31-17 but got penalized four times on their first drive of the fourth quarter. They were flagged twice for a false start. After the second false start, Harbaugh started to scream at the officials.

Harbaugh was seen yelling “they can’t do that!” to the officials.

FOX commentator Joel Klatt said that Harbaugh was complaining about Penn State’s defensive players calling out false signals to confuse Michigan’s offense. That is illegal.

Michigan ended up with a field goal on the drive to go up 34-17. They added another touchdown later in the fourth quarter to extend their lead to 41-17.

Father of Cade McNamara calls out reporter over transfer rumor

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 father of Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara called out a reporter over a rumor shared on Twitter Monday.

Adam Biggers covers Michigan athletics for the outlet Saturday Tradition. Biggers tweeted Monday that McNamara was “done” at Michigan.

Gary McNamara, the father of Cade, tweeted a response to Biggers. He told Biggers to share his source.

“Share your source Adam!!!!!” McNamara tweeted in response.

Biggers replied, “I can’t do that, Mr. McNamara. But I’ve always written fair about your son. Always.” Biggers also asked Gary McNamara to call him.

Cade McNamara was Michigan’s starting quarterback last season and led the Wolverines to a win over rival Ohio State, Big Ten championship, and spot in the College Football Playoff. But he was beaten out by J.J. McCarthy for the team’s starting job this season.

McNamara is dealing with a leg injury suffered against UConn.

Though Gary McNamara seems upset about the report, there are plenty of reasons to speculate that Cade might want to transfer. He’s already had success in the Big Ten. He’s a good quarterback who was beaten out by someone who was playing better. He also could have a few seasons of eligibility left too, which would give him plenty of time to develop at another program.

McNamara passed for 15 touchdowns and 6 interceptions last season.

Jim Harbaugh issues warning about Iowa game

Jim Harbaugh wearing sunglasses

Nov 16, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh reacts during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Harbaugh is not messing around ahead of Saturday’s game at Iowa.

Harbaugh knows just how dangerous the Hawkeyes can be at home. He brought an undefeated team to Kinnick Stadium in 2016 and lost 14-13 to the Hawkeyes. This year, the Wolverines are 4-0, and Harbaugh wants his team to be on high alert ahead of the game.

While speaking with the media on Thursday, Harbaugh issued a warning about playing at Iowa.

“As they say, (where) top-five teams go to die,” Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh’s Wolverines were ranked No. 2 in the country when they traveled to Iowa in 2016 and lost. This season they are ranked No. 4. Michigan won its three non-conference games easily but had a close Big Ten win over Maryland last week.

Michigan has gone 2-1 against Iowa since Harbaugh took over. They lost at Iowa in 2016 but beat them at home 10-3 in 2019. The Wolverines slammed the Hawkeyes 42-3 in the Big Ten Championship Game last season.

Harbaugh lauds Iowa for playing fundamentally-sound football. Iowa has only allowed 23 points in four games this season, but their offense has been weak and is averaging just 17 points per game this season.

Jim Harbaugh makes announcement on Michigan starting QB

Jim Harbaugh in Michigan gear

Aug 31, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh before the game against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Harbaugh on Saturday night made an official announcement regarding his starting quarterback.

Harbaugh shared after his Michigan Wolverines dismantled Hawaii 56-10 that JJ McCarthy would be the team’s starter moving forward.

Though Harbaugh made the announcement, it was the play of the quarterbacks that made the determination.

In two games, McCarthy ouptlayed Cade McNamara.

McCarthy had a “near flawless performance” against Hawaii, Harbaugh said. The sophomore was 11/12 for 229 yards and 3 touchdowns. The one incompletion was a drop. McNamara was 4/6 for 26 yards and an interception, with -17 rushing yards.

McNamara helped lead Michigan to a Big Ten Championship, win over Ohio State, and spot in the CFP last season. He did a lot for the program and deserved to have a shot to continue leading the team. Frankly, he should have been the team’s starter in 2020 too over Joe Milton (Harbaugh really blew that decision).

But it wasn’t Michigan that took his starting job away. And it certainly wasn’t Harbaugh or an unfair coaching staff. It was McCarthy, whose play has been superior.

The Wolverines are 2-0 and host UConn next. Their schedule doesn’t get its toughest until mid-October, when they host Michigan State and Penn State in consecutive weeks.They could very realistically be 11-0 going into the Ohio State game this season, which will be in Columbus.

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.

Matt Leinart rips Michigan over handling of QB situation

Matt Leinart at a press conference

Nov 29, 2021; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Matt Leinart attends a press conference to introduce Riley as Southern California Trojans head coach at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Harbaugh is allowing Michigan’s quarterback battle to spill over into the regular season, and one former Heisman Trophy winner thinks that is a terrible idea.

Senior Cade McNamara and sophomore J.J. McCarthy competed for Michigan’s starting quarterback job throughout the offseason. Harbaugh announced over the weekend that the competition will not be settled until the Wolverines play their first two regular season games. McNamara will start against Colorado State in Week 1 and McCarthy will get the nod in Week 2 against Hawaii. Harbaugh will then decide which of the two will be named the full-time starter.

Matt Leinart had a strong reaction to Harbaugh’s approach.

The most unusual thing about Harbaugh’s approach is that he came out and announced it. By doing so, he almost boxed himself into the decision. How can he bench McNamara if the senior throws for 400 yards and 3 touchdowns in Week 1? Apparently he is committed to giving McCarthy a shot no matter what happens.

McNamara was the starter for the bulk of the 2021 season, which saw Michigan win the Big Ten and reach the College Football Playoff for the first time. McCarthy, a former five-star recruit, is the more mobile and arguably more dynamic player, but is also significantly less experienced. That showed at times in 2021, as his costly turnover was a key moment in Michigan’s only regular season defeat.

Michigan reveals unusual plan to settle QB battle

Jim Harbaugh in Michigan gear

Aug 31, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh before the game against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan Wolverines are using an unusual tactic to make a final decision on who their starting quarterback will be for the 2022 season.

Michigan has spent the offseason deciding between senior Cade McNamara and sophomore J.J. McCarthy, and evidently still are not making a final decision. In a statement, coach Jim Harbaugh revealed that the first two games of the season will essentially serve as auditions, with Cade McNamara starting against Colorado State in Week 1 and J.J. McCarthy getting the nod in Week 2 against Hawaii. According to Harbaugh, a starter and backup will be decided prior to Week 3 against Connecticut.

McNamara was the starter for the bulk of the 2021 season, which saw Michigan win the Big Ten and reach the College Football Playoff for the first time. McCarthy, a former five-star recruit, is the more mobile and arguably more dynamic player, but is also significantly less experienced. That showed at times in 2021, as his costly turnover was a key moment in Michigan’s only regular season defeat.

Harbaugh had previously suggested the quarterback battle would drag on into the season, and that appears to be the case. It remains to be seen whether such an unorthodox process pays any dividends in the end.

Jim Harbaugh names his 4 goals for Michigan in 2022

Jim Harbaugh in Michigan gear

Aug 31, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh before the game against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan last season made the College Football Playoff for the first time in program history. Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh has identified a return to the playoff as one of four goals for his team heading into the 2022 campaign.

During Tuesday’s portion of this week’s Big Ten media days, Harbaugh revealed to reporters his goals for Michigan going into this season.

“Our goals would be to beat Ohio State and Michigan State in the same year, win the Big Ten championship and the national championship,” Harbaugh said. “Those would be our four goals.”

Completing all four objectives will not be an easy task. While the Wolverines managed to beat the Buckeyes last season, they have not beaten Ohio State in back-to-back meetings since the 1999-2000 seasons. Michigan lost to Michigan State 37-33 last October as well.

Michigan handily beat Iowa in the Big Ten Championship 42-3 but was blown out by the eventual national champion Georgia Bulldogs in last year’s College Football Playoff semifinals. According to an iteration of ESPN’s FPI rankings and the All State Playoff Predictor from earlier this offseason, six other teams have a better shot at making the playoff than Michigan this season.

With Michigan State set to visit Ann Arbor on October 29, Harbaugh’s four goals could take a major hit well before “The Game” or any postseason play takes place.