The Wolverine

April 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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32 THE WOLVERINE APRIL 2021 QUARTERBACKS BY THE NUMBERS 9 Michigan's combined passing touchdowns by quarterbacks in the fall of 2020. Only 20 FBS teams played in at least six games and threw fewer. 10 To u c h d ow n s t h row n l a s t fall at Texas Tech by graduate transfer quarterback Alan Bow- man in eight games (six starts). Bowman played three seasons for the Red Raiders before opt- ing out and heading to Ann Ar- bor, going 150-of-232 passing for 1,602 yards with 10 touch- downs last year. 44th Was Michigan's national rank in average passing yardage for the 2020 season. The Wolver- ines threw for 250.3 yards per game last fall, sixth best among Big Ten teams. 1,502 Passing yards for U-M in the six-game 2020 season. It hadn't seen that low a tally through the air since the 12-game 1987 season (the year after Jim Har- baugh graduated), when Mich- igan quarterbacks combined for 1,407 passing yards. WHO'S GONE JOE MILTON Michigan's starter for most of the COVID- shortened 2020 season bolted after losing his spot in the Rutgers game. Milton connected on 80 of 141 passes (56.7 percent) for 1,077 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions. He'll do his growing elsewhere. WHO'S BACK REDSHIRT FRESHMAN CADE MCNAMARA McNamara caught his big break when the Wolverines fell behind at Rutgers, and he ral- lied them to a 48-42, triple-overtime victory. McNamara completed 27 of 36 throws with four touchdowns in that one. Overall, he con- nected on 43 of 71 attempts (60.6 percent) with five scores and no interceptions. FRESHMAN DAN VILLARI Villari did not see the field in 2020, after get- ting brought in late in the class of 2020 for quarterback insurance. He'll be looking to make his debut at some point in 2021. TOP NEWCOMER FRESHMAN J.J. MCCARTHY There's been no lack of buzz about the strong- armed rookie out of La Grange Park, Ill., and it doesn't figure to die out anytime soon. McCar- thy went 36-2 as a prep QB, throwing for 7,905 yards with 94 touchdowns and 13 intercep- tions, spending his first two varsity seasons at Nazareth Academy and his final year at national powerhouse IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. "Like a lot of these offensive positions, there's a lot to prove, but a lot of material to work with. There's a saying in pro sports: 'The good ones come fast.' We'll see, whether it's J.J. [McCarthy], whether Cade [McNamara] is going to take over. If neither of them do, I like that they added a veteran who has been through the fire before [in Texas Tech graduate transfer Alan Bowman]." — Michigan football sideline reporter Doug Karsch QUOTABLE POSITION BATTLE TO WATCH There's only one, and it always draws the most scrutiny. Michigan must get better quickly here, with more stability and a starter who can take charge. T here's been massive upheaval among the Michi- gan quarterbacks ranks over the past eight months. Two of the top three competing for the starting job in 2020 are now gone in Joe Milton and Dylan McCaffrey. The cupboard isn't bare, by any means. But Jim Harbaugh and his staff remain a long way from set- ting the table for 2021 at quarterback. The veteran of the crew, redshirt freshman Cade McNamara, started one game for the Wolverines and didn't finish it, because of injury. The rookie challenger, J.J. McCarthy, hopes to stage a first-year coup at the position. Plus, U-M added a transfer QB from Texas Tech for next fall with the Feb. 28 commitment of redshirt sophomore Alan Bowman, who started 16 games at his old school. Regardless of how it turns out, it's safe to as- sume the starter won't be known until late in fall camp — if then. BY JOHN BORTON SPRING FOOTBALL ANALYSIS . SPRING SCHOLARSHIP ROSTER No. Name Class Ht. Wt. Hometown 9 J.J. McCarthy Fr. 6-3 195 La Grange Park, Ill. 12 Cade McNamara R-Fr. 6-1 205 Reno, Nev. 4 Dan Villari Fr. 6-4 227 Massapequa, N.Y. Position coach: Matt Weiss (first year at U-M) PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL CADE MCNAMARA

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