Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy just played in the biggest game of his life so far and he and the Wolverines came out as victors.
The Wolverines throttled Ohio State in the second half, turning a 20-17 halftime deficit into a 45-23 victory.
McCarthy and his teammates celebrated after the game, sharing smiles and hugs, but by the time McCarthy’s press conference was over it was clear how serious he is about what’s ahead for Michigan.
Michigan now gladly has a game to play next week, the Big Ten Championship, and they’ll have to get prepared quickly and effectively to keep their undefeated season alive and get into the College Football Playoff. Celebrating the win in the rivalry is something the fans can celebrate year-round, but Michigan has to turn the page in short order. This fact isn’t lost on McCarthy.
Sitting with Cornelius Johnson and Donovan Edwards, all of who were wearing Big Ten East Championship hats, McCarthy took his hat off saying it didn’t matter.
“It was great and all to get a win, every win is great, and especially this one — but at the end of the day this one doesn’t even matter,” McCarthy said. “The job’s not finished. We got so much more to do and so many places to go. The job’s not finished and we’re ready to get after it.”
Edwards stepped in and said something about McCarthy that made the entire press conference room laugh.
“That boy sound like Kobe Bryant to ya’ll.”
Edwards echoed McCarthy’s comments, it’s onward for the Wolverines to the Big Ten Championship.
“We want a ring and that’s what we have to do.”
McCarthy balanced stoicism with smiles at his presser, acknowledging how great of a day it was for the team at Ohio Stadium, but with room to grow and things to improve upon.
“It was really so special. And there’s still so much that we need to do, to work on and get better — but it was great to finally see it come to fruition.”
McCarthy was 12-of-24 on the day for 263 yards with three passing touchdowns and one rushing score. McCarthy has earned the trust of his teammates as a leader on and off the field.