No. 2 Michigan (13-0) is set to take on No. 3 TCU (12-1) in the College Football Playoff at the Fiesta Bowl at the end of the month.
A major reason why the Horned Frogs are one of the top teams in the nation is because of their quarterback, Max Duggan.
Duggan is in the Heisman conversation, and rightfully so. The dual-threat QB has thrown for 3,321 yards, 30 touchdowns, and just four interceptions while adding 404 yards rushing and six rushing scores.
Duggan had a heroic effort in the Big 12 Championship Game on Saturday.
With the passing game becoming somewhat neutralized, Duggan took matters into his own hands and repeatedly tucked the ball and ran for sizable gains.
MAX DUGGAN PUTTING THE TEAM ON HIS BACK pic.twitter.com/ksWbTtqmC0— Footballism™ (@FootbaIIism) December 3, 2022
With TCU trailing 28-20 Duggan rushed for 95 yards on one drive. By the time he reached the end zone, he was absolutely exhausted. The drive got TCU into overtime, where they lost to Kansas State 31-28.
MAX DUGGAN WITH HIS HEISMAN MOMENT pic.twitter.com/WLjGIJQB9J— SuperHawkeyeFan (@superhawkeyefan) December 3, 2022
Duggan earned the respect of Michigan.
“Yesterday's ballgame, that quarterback was unbelievable in terms of a competitor,” Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh said. “And we got a good one ourselves too so it should be a heck of a matchup.”
Michigan does have a good QB in J.J. McCarthy, who has 20 passing touchdowns and three interceptions this year with 254 yards rushing and four scores.
McCarthy was asked about TCU, and he had good things to say about the program and Duggan in particular.
“I had time to watch the full game, and they’re a great squad,” McCarthy said. “Max Duggan, he’s a great player — it’ll be awesome to see how he shapes up against our defense.”
McCarthy said that watching Duggan’s performance as a running quarterback stood out and made him realize there will be opportunities to use his legs and do what Duggan is doing.
“I always look at other quarterbacks, just see if I can take bits and pieces from their game and add it to mine. Max, he’s a tough dude — seeing him run the ball, especially on those last couple of drives.”
Michigan’s defense is coming off a game where they allowed Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell to pass for 366 yards. Although that’s a high yardage total and O’Connell kept the chains moving often, he threw zero touchdown passes and had two interceptions, and was sacked four times.
Duggan is a dangerous quarterback, he’ll be a challenge as a passer and as a runner. We’ll see if Michigan passes the test on New Year's Eve in Phoenix.