Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy has been very efficient to this point in the season. Through five games McCarthy is completing an absurdly good 78.6% of his passes with six touchdowns and zero interceptions.
McCarthy’s a talented quarterback, but the multitude of options Michigan has at his disposal on offense have helped him play at a high level. McCarthy has targets to throw to such as Ronnie Bell, Roman Wilson, Cornelius Johnson, Andrel Anthony, A.J. Henning, and Luke Schoonmaker. The Wolverines also have two talented running backs in Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards. And it helps to have an offensive line that won the Joe Moore Award in 2021.
After Michigan’s 27-14 win over Iowa, a game where the Wolverines rushed for 172 yards and McCarthy passed for 155 yards against Iowa’s No. 1 scoring defense, McCarthy was asked about the cohesion of Michigan’s offense. McCarthy’s excited to be part of an offense that has the ability to beat teams on the ground as well as through the air.
“It’s amazing it just shows how dangerous we are as a unit. We could go on the ground with and run for 200, 300 but we can also go through the air with it and throw for 300, 400,” McCarthy said after the game.
Michigan currently ranks 31st in total offense — ranking 13th in rushing offense and 77th in passing offense, and 14th in team passing efficiency. McCarthy’s highest passing total of the season came against Hawaii, where he threw for 229 yards, a total he should easily surpass in the games ahead. McCarthy noted that Michigan’s receivers are ready to start firing on all cylinders.
“The guys are hungry, they’re chomping at the bit to get the air raid going. I’m so happy to be a part of this offense. So grateful to be around these guys and be around (co-offensive coordinators) coach Moore and coach Weiss. We’re just very dangerous all around.”
Great throw by J.J. McCarthy here. Great catch by Andrel Anthony and an even better job not taking a big hit. pic.twitter.com/hOtIAO85dS— Trevor Woods (@WoodsFootball) October 2, 2022
Michigan may be passing the ball more very soon, as their schedule sets up for them to do so nicely. Michigan’s next three opponents all have struggled against the pass. Indiana ranks 118th in passing defense, Penn State ranks 105th, and Michigan State ranks 115th. If there was a stretch to unleash McCarthy and Michigan’s passing offense, this is it.
We’ve seen glimpses of McCarthy’s ability to stretch the ball downfield, there have been instances where his ability to extend things with his legs creates a big play opportunity by passing the ball. If McCarthy can start consistently landing deep shots with touch and intermediate laser strikes, the sky is the limit for Michigan’s offense.