What Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy accomplished on Saturday did not go unnoticed by head coach Jim Harbaugh.
McCarthy went out there and did something no Michigan quarterback has ever done.
“J.J. was magnificent,” Harbaugh said on Monday. “26 for 30. That’s the highest percentage, 87.6, in the history of Michigan football for anybody that’s thrown 30 or more passes. It was tremendous. Downfield tough throws, tight-window throws.”
McCarthy’s stat line in Michigan’s season opening 30-3 win over East Carolina was indeed magnificent, going 26-of-30 for 280 yards with three touchdowns in less than three quarters of action.
“Tremendous,” Harbaugh said. “Really proud of him, the way he played.”
Harbaugh said McCarthy has “improved in so many ways” since last season.
“Understanding the offense, coaching it to other players, I see that. It’s ever-increasing and a good step one. Reset and get back after it this week.”
McCarthy told the media after the win over ECU how much more comfortable he feels compared to a year ago. McCarthy noted that last year he was dealing with coming back from a shoulder injury and was in a quarterback battle with Cade McNamara. McCarthy classified these happenings as “a lot of resistance and a lot of stuff to push through”. A year later, things look like a breeze for McCarthy.
“This one felt effortless. It felt uplifting every single snap,” McCarthy said. “It felt like everything was going right and it was a beautiful feeling.”
Some of McCarthy’s passes were things of beauty — he had touch, he threw some balls with force on a rope, and he made the right read time and time again. The passing offense, and pass-protection which Harbaugh also said was really good, are positive signs for the offense as a whole this season. If there are games where the running game is being limited, Michigan has a more than capable QB of getting things done and throwing in high frequency wherever they need him to sling it.
Michigan’s next step will be facing UNLV at The Big House on Saturday. Per DraftKings Sportsbook, Michigan is a 36-point favorite over UNLV.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.