Michigan 56, Hawaii 10

Michigan 56, Hawaii 10

September 11, 2022
J.J. McCarthy (image via WXYZ)

Hello, J.J. McCarthy. Well, McCarthy didn’t wait too long to stake his claim for the starting quarterback job. He completed 11/12 passes for 229 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions while rushing 1 time for 16 yards. His first pass was a 42-yard bomb to Roman Wilson for a touchdown, and he didn’t really slow down after that. Every pass was accurate, even a crisp RPO slant to Ronnie Bell that accounted for McCarthy’s lone incompletion. It was an excellent starting debut against an atrocious team.

Hit the jump for more.

So . . . Cade McNamara, huh? Almost everything about Cade McNamara’s performances this year has been alarming. He’s making poor reads. Receivers are dropping the ball. His mechanics were poor when he threw an interception against Hawaii. Altogether, he finished 4/6 for 26 yards, 0 TD, and 1 INT, and he was sacked 2 times for -17 yards. Furthermore, the offensive line is blocking like s*** when he’s in there, and the play calling is uninspired. I’m not saying this is happening, because it’s dumb, but it almost looks like a case where everyone around him is sabotaging his chances to look good. He’s a captain and a good leader and a Big Ten championship starting QB. But when the OL doesn’t block, the receivers don’t catch, and the play calls are iffy, what can a relatively immobile QB do to succeed? Nothing.

Has anyone else seen the elephant standing over there? The good news is that McCarthy looked really good. The bad news is that Michigan’s multi-year starting QBs tend to get worse. You’ve noticed this, haven’t you?

  • Wilton Speight 2016: 61.6% completions, 18 TD, 7 INT, 139.76 PER
  • Wilton Speight 2017: 54.3%, 3 TD, 2 INT, 121.85 PER
  • Shea Patterson 2018: 64.6%, 22 TD, 7 INT, 149.85 PER
  • Shea Patterson 2019: 56.2%, 23 TD, 8 INT, 139.38 PER
  • Cade McNamara 2021: 64.2%, 15 TD, 6 INT, 141.87 PER
  • Cade McNamara 2022: 54.2%, 1 TD, 1 INT, 116.29 PER

Of course, there’s still time for McNamara to improve those numbers as we get later in the year. Jim Harbaugh came out after the game and said McCarthy earned the start for next week against UConn, but poor play or injury could lead to more opportunities for McNamara. Regardless, QB development has been lacking for guys who stick around Michigan for multiple years.

The defense was suffocating. Until late in the game, Hawaii didn’t have a chance on anything. They recorded two first downs in the first half. Quarterback Joey Yellen completed 13/36 passes for 113 yards. Starting running back Dedrick Parson had 12 carries for 28 yards. Backup running back Tylan Hines broke out on a 54-yard touchdown late in the game, but the closest guys to him were freshman linebacker Micah Pollard and freshman safety Keon Sabb. It would still have been nice to hold the shutout – which was gone by that point after a field goal – but backups need experience so they can be next year’s starters.

Some freshmen look like the real deal. C.J. Stokes had 8 carries for 61 yards. It was against a bad opponent, but still, you can see some explosiveness, toughness, and change of direction. Defensive tackle Mason Graham and defensive end Derrick Moore are both also ready to play. There are other freshmen who look like solid future contributors, but Stokes, Graham, and Moore all look they can help in 2022.

Concerns? I’m concerned about the offensive line. There were breakdowns in protection and they aren’t as dominant in the run game as expected. Olu Oluwatimi looks very good at center, but Trente Jones and Zak Zinter have had some rough moments. I want to watch the film again to see more about how Ryan Hayes looked, but he did give up a pressure.

Game predictions so far? Not bad. Last week I said it would be 52-17 and it ended up 51-7. This week I said it would be 56-7 and it ended up 56-10. I think Michigan’s coaching staff must be reading my blog and doing the best they can to mirror what I project, so next week, I’m predicting a 223-0 score against UConn so Michigan can set the record for most points in a football game (currently set at 222-0 for Georgia Tech over Cumberland back in 1916).

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