Wednesday, November 30, 2022
HomeSportsJ.J. McCarthy has likelihood to show himself vs. top-ranked Illinois protection

J.J. McCarthy has likelihood to show himself vs. top-ranked Illinois protection

Jim Harbaugh confronted probably the most difficult personnel choices of his teaching profession heading into this 12 months’s school soccer season.

The eighth-year Michigan head coach had two strong quarterback choices at his disposal in Cade McNamara and J.J. McCarthy, and whereas each earned the precise to be below middle for the Wolverines, he knew a choice needed to be made.

So, Harbaugh let the competitors play out on the sphere. McNamara — who began all 14 video games for the Wolverines in 2021 and led the workforce to a Big Ten championship and their first-ever spot within the College Football Playoff — began the season-opener in opposition to Colorado State. McCarthy — who’s the extra gifted athlete, however solely tried 42 whole passes as a real freshman whereas enjoying behind McNamara — received the beginning within the workforce’s second recreation in opposition to Hawaii.

In the tip, it was McCarthy who shined the brightest, throwing for 229 yards and three touchdowns in a dominant 56-10 victory over the Rainbow Warriors. He was in the end named the workforce’s starter following that recreation and has been terrific ever since, serving to information the Wolverines to an ideal 10-0 report heading into Saturday’s Big Ten showdown in opposition to Illinois.

McCarthy ranks second within the Big Ten in each passing effectivity (157.6) and completion proportion (69%). Through 10 video games, he has thrown 14 touchdowns to only two interceptions and has gotten it finished together with his legs as nicely, totaling 195 yards and three scores on the bottom.

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But whereas Michigan’s sophomore signal-caller has been regular below middle this season, the Wolverines are a workforce that depends closely on the run, rating second within the convention in dashing makes an attempt and main the Big Ten in each dashing yards and touchdowns.

According to FOX Sports school soccer analyst Joel Klatt, McCarthy can have the prospect to show himself on Saturday in opposition to one of many stingiest defenses not solely within the Big Ten, however all through your complete nation.

Illinois vs. No. 3 Michigan preview | The Joel Klatt Show

Joel Klatt mentioned why this recreation can be a take a look at for J.J. McCarthy’s confidence in opposition to the Ohio State Buckeyes.

“This game is going to be all about J.J. McCarthy,” Klatt mentioned on a current episode of his podcast, “The Joel Klatt Show.” “He started playing really efficient football, leading the country in completion percentage, and then all of a sudden, they got Blake Corum in the Heisman race and they’ve just totally learned on that.”

Corum has been the centerpiece of this Michigan offense all through the 2022 marketing campaign, rating second within the Big Ten in dashing yards (1,349) and touchdowns (18). He has established himself as a respectable Heisman Trophy candidate, at present listed because the third favourite (+550), per FOX Bet, to take residence school soccer’s most prestigious particular person award.

But with Illinois’ protection centered on slowing down Corum, McCarthy can have the prospect to shine in a recreation that may precede the most important matchup of his younger profession.

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“J.J. McCarthy has the opportunity to develop against a defense that will give him really tight windows,” Klatt mentioned. “As a QB, you’ve gotta be on time, you’ve gotta make quick decisions, be ready to throw, and you gotta throw the ball accurately.”

Michigan and Illinois are set to kick off at midday ET Saturday on the Big House. If the Wolverines can get by the Illini and Ohio State is ready to beat Maryland (3:30 p.m. ET), it’s going to arrange one of many most-anticipated video games of this decade subsequent weekend between Big Ten rivals Michigan and Ohio State.

“Imagine if he plays really well against Illinois, the confidence he will build for next week’s game against Ohio State on the road,” Klatt mentioned of McCarthy. “That’s what this game is all about.”

Read extra:

Each week, FOX Sports school soccer analyst Joel Klatt dives into his Top 10 groups, solutions questions and discusses the most important storylines in school soccer on his podcast. Download “The Joel Klatt Show” right here.

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