The Wolverine

October 2022

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 26 of 67

OCTOBER 2022 THE WOLVERINE 27 the most counterproductive things a fan can do. I mean, J.J. runs, right? So J.J. is going to get hit, and J.J. could get hurt. "Your next option is a guy that you just booed? That, to me, is some of the most self-destructive behavior. It strikes me as incredibly counterproductive and un- dermining your own team's chances for success." Senior offensive lineman Trente Jones expressed no concern for McNamara go- ing forward, based on the toughness he's shown in the past. "It's a rent," Jones said. "Every day he's going to come out. He's a grinder. He's real gritty. Regardless of what happens, regardless of who likes or doesn't like whom, for anybody, it's really just about going out there every day and feeling like you don't own anything. Keep working." TRUER TESTS AHEAD It's one thing to shine against the de- fenses of Colorado State, Hawai'i and UConn. It's another to perform consis- tently in the Big Ten, at Iowa, against Penn State and Michigan State, in the Horseshoe. Those next steps will be crucial, and will require a different level of process- ing and performance than has been de- manded so far, Karsch noted. "One of the things Cade was really good at was quickly processing infor- mation and getting the ball to the right guy," he pointed out. "Well, against these defenses, you don't have to quickly pro- cess information, because they're not in your face. They're not pressuring you, they're not disguising coverages, they're not bringing blitzes from places you don't expect, at least not effectively. "It's a different game when you have to quickly process information, which J.J. hasn't had to do yet this year. Now, he did a little bit last year. So that challenge is still ahead, and that's something to watch for. "Iowa's offense is awful. But Iowa's defense can give you headaches. That's where J.J. will really be tested." Harbaugh and Michigan's coaching staff will be tested to keep finding the best ways to win, including at the quarterback position. McCarthy and Michigan's of- fense will meet a host of challenges along the way. The coaches inserted Texas Tech trans- fer Alan Bowman, a grad student, into the opener as a QB backup. Sophomore walk-on Davis Warren impressed against Hawai'i, coming on to connect on a pair of passes for 65 yards. "I continue to just be happy about it," Harbaugh said of his QB situation. "That's our job as coaches to develop guys. I never looked at it like a problem. I'd definitely rather have really good quarterbacks, three really good quarterbacks, keep de- veloping guys, and let them go have at it." Having at it with a new triggerman could take Michigan's chances of repeat- ing as Big Ten champions (and more) up a notch. ❏ The past 23 years of Michigan football gave rise to a few changes at starting quarterback during the season. Injury prompted most, with varied results. Here's a look back at those previous QB shuffles: • 2000 — A practice injury to Drew Henson led to John Na- varre getting the first four starts of the year. Henson came on in relief in the Big Ten opener at Illinois, guiding the Wolverines the rest of the way. Despite dropping heartbreakers at Purdue and Northwestern, the Wolverines knocked off Ohio State — the last time they've won in Columbus — to grab a share of the Big Ten championship at 9-3. • 2007 — Chad Henne didn't miss a start until his senior sea- son, but an arm injury kept him from three starts, with rookie Ryan Mallett coming on to take over. The Wolverines dropped two straight at the end of that regular season, 37-21 at Wiscon- sin with Mallett starting and 14-3 at home to Ohio State with a less-than-100-percent Henne struggling. A healed Henne helped Michigan rocket past Tim Tebow, Urban Meyer and Florida in the Capital One Bowl, 41-35, and U-M wound up 9-4. • 2008 — Nick Sheridan earned the first start of the Rich Rodriguez era, a 25-23 home loss to Utah, while Steven Threet took over in the second half. Threet wound up starting eight games and Sheridan four in a forgettable 3-9 season for the Wolverines. • 2012 — Denard Robinson made the first eight starts for the Wolverines, before getting injured in a 23-9 loss at Nebraska. Devin Gardner subbed in, making four starts while Robinson wound up starting nine games. The Wolverines suffered a pair of tough losses at the end — 26-21 at Ohio State and 33-28 in the Outback Bowl to South Carolina — with both quarterbacks seeing significant time to close out an 8-5 year. • 2013 — Gardner started all 12 regular-season games for the Wolverines, but he got nicked up and couldn't go in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe. Shane Morris got the start, while Michigan absorbed a 31-14 loss to close out a 7-6 campaign. • 2014 — A similar scenario unfolded the following season, Brady Hoke's last as coach. Gardner started 11 games and Mor- ris one in a 5-7 season that brought Jim Harbaugh on as head coach for the following season. • 2016 — Wilton Speight logged 12 starts and John O'Korn one after Speight sustained an injury in a narrow loss at Iowa. Speight returned for the crushing, 30-27, double-overtime loss at Ohio State in a 10-3 almost season. • 2017 — Speight started the first four games, but injury brought on O'Korn (five starts) and Brandon Peters (four) in an 8-5 struggle. • 2020 — This COVID-truncated campaign ended at 2-4, with Joe Milton starting the first five and Cade McNamara coming on for the final start. — John Borton Notable In-Season Switches At Starting Quarterback Senior quarterback Cade McNamara injured his leg versus UConn and will likely miss sev- eral weeks. U-M will look to Davis Warren, Alan Bowman and Alex Orji as back-ups. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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