J.J. McCarthy’s been at Michigan for two seasons now, and he’s seen confetti fall and the opposing team celebrate twice in the College Football Playoff Semifinals — last season it was Georgia who beat Michigan at the Orange Bowl, and on Saturday night it was TCU who prevailed at the Fiesta Bowl.
JJ and the Wolverines will be back. pic.twitter.com/dMZUIxjsIy— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) January 1, 2023
McCarthy, who threw for 343 yards with two passing touchdowns, two interceptions, 52 rushing yards, and one rushing score — made a statement following the game about what he envisions next for the program.
“Fought our hearts out,” McCarthy said. “There’s a lot of things that we could have done better. Can’t wait to watch the tape. But we’ll be back, and I promise that.”
JJ McCarthy started the postgame press conference for Michigan players, he gave one answer, and then he walked out.— Jeanna Trotman (@JeannaTrotmanTV) January 1, 2023
"We fought our hearts out. There was a lot of things that we could have done better. I can't wait to watch the tape. But we will be back. I promise that." pic.twitter.com/gQpPkuICsZ
The wounds are fresh but the road back to the College Football Playoff has already begun. Michigan players will get back to strength training in a matter of weeks, spring practices will begin in late February. The 2023 season starts sooner than the game schedule. What McCarthy and the team do in the immediate future has a direct impact on how far they go in the postseason.
McCarthy has said in the past that whether the outcome of a game is positive or negative it’s important to learn from it and then throw it in the ocean and move forward. Onward is the only direction for Michigan and the young quarterback. This loss will stick with McCarthy and the rest of the team for quite some time, it’ll be up to them to use it as fuel or let it define them. From McCarthy’s postgame comments it’s decisive what direction he is going, back to the playoffs and to a National Championship.