September 14, 2022

Good morning,

We’re back. Well, some of us are. Our beloved Brendan Roose has graduated and passed the torch onto me, Cole Martin. So, I’m sorry, dear reader, as you’re stuck with me for the foreseeable future. But, enough talk. Let’s get to what we’re all here for: Sports.

The Michigan football team’s quarterback competition finally came to a close following this weekend’s rout of Hawaii, but that’s not even close to all that has happened in recent weeks. This summer was one of turmoil for the athletics department here in Ann Arbor, especially in the coaching department. Former hockey coach Mel Pearson lost his job after a damning investigation detailed a toxic workplace environment for the Michigan hockey team. Pearson was subsequently replaced by interim head coach Brandon Naurato. Mere weeks after, legendary softball coach Carol Hutchins announced her retirement after an illustrious career as the winningest head coach in NCAA softball history.

Chaos is certainly one word to describe the summer. But that’s just how we like it. As we always say, sports are fun. And The Daily has you covered.

Tess Crowley/Daily. Buy this photo.

Josh Taubman: J.J. McCarthy is the only option, and Jim Harbaugh knew it

On Saturday evening, Michigan’s quarterback competition ended. Sophomore quarterback J.J. McCarthy threw for 229 yards and three touchdowns, good for a 93.7 ProFootballFocus grade — the highest in the Jim Harbaugh era. And mere seconds into his post-game press conference, Harbaugh named McCarthy the starting quarterback.

“We’ll start J.J. next week,” Harbaugh said. “He earned that by performance, by merit.”

Harbaugh wants to bring a national championship to his alma mater, and it’s clear that McCarthy is the quarterback that gives him the best chance to do so.

Read on for what McCarthy will bring to the Wolverines’ offense as a starter in Saturday’s game against Connecticut.

Carol Hutchins looks to her left with her hands raised to clap.

Following the retirement of Michigan head coach Carol Hutchins, the winningest college softball coach of all time, her impact on her players, other coaches, and collegiate athletics in general has become increasingly clear. This monumental impact has even extended to the journalists who covered her as well. Kate Hua/Daily.  Buy this photo.

How Hutchins elevated sports journalists

As head coaches do, Michigan softball coach Carol Hutchins consistently engaged with the media. And while impacting countless women in sports and her own athletes, Hutchins took the extra step and made an impact on the journalists that covered her team as well. 

With her unique style during interviews, Hutchins pushed every reporter who had a question to ask of her. And for the journalists, that tactic paid off.

“Hutchins’ impact stems from her expectations,” Senior Sports Editor Paul Nasr writes. “She kept them a mile high, for everyone around her.” 

And many softball beat writers from years past echo the same sentiment, recounting their own experiences with Hutch.

Continue on for more about Hutchins’ legacy.

Grace Beal/Daily. Buy this photo.

Michigan obliterates Hawaii in J.J. McCarthy’s first start

On a day rich with anticipation in Ann Arbor ahead of McCarthy’s first start as a Wolverine, it was only fitting that the crowd at the Big House and McCarthy had to wait.

But once the game started, McCarthy didn’t look back. On just the second play of the game, McCarthy connected with sophomore wide receiver Roman Wilson for a 42-yard touchdown, a play that set the tone for the evening. And Harbaugh had nothing but praise for his young quarterback.

“Every single day,” Harbaugh said, “he’s been about as good as can be.”

Read more about McCarthy’s performance in the Wolverines’ win this past weekend.

Field Hockey: In hard-fought win, Michigan displays its defensive strength

Women’s Soccer: Michigan shows improved chemistry in draw to Colorado

Volleyball: Lessons from Duke loss propel Michigan to sweep over North Carolina

Men’s Soccer: Second-half adjustments boost Michigan in comeback win

In spite of the recent QB competition, Cade McNamara has cemented himself in Michigan football history. Alum Miles Macklin/Daily. Buy this photo.

SportsMonday: Don’t rewrite Cade McNamara’s story

Though he no longer holds the starting quarterback job, senior quarterback Cade McNamara still has a legacy at Michigan.

He led the Wolverines to their first-ever College Football Playoff berth. Michigan also won the Big Ten for the first time since 2003 under his leadership. And perhaps most importantly, for the first time in a decade, Michigan beat Ohio State last November, with McNamara leading the way. 

With some fans in the Big House booing McNamara after a subpar performance against Hawaii, it’s best that we remember all McNamara has done for the program.

“This is not the time to turn on McNamara, and it’s certainly no time to forget what he’s done for Michigan,” Managing Sports Editor Nick Stoll writes.

In seven first-half drives, J.J. McCarthy went 11-for-12 with 229 passing yards and three touchdowns, good for a 334.5 passer rating. On those seven possessions, the Wolverines found the endzone six times.

Nevada +23.5 @ Iowa

Iowa has scored just 14 points all season. Is there really anything else that I need to say here? Look for Nevada to cover the spread comfortably.

Michigan State +130 at Washington

I texted Brendan for this one. In his own words: “Cole, you beautiful boy. Lock in Michigan State money line at Washington. … FanDuel has it at +118 which is absurd.” That number has since swelled to +130. Lock it in, for Brendan’s sake. He has to have a legacy around here, now that the TV doesn’t work. 

Michigan -47.5 vs. Connecticut

It’s McCarthy’s first game as Michigan’s official starting quarterback. You best believe he’s going to put on a show and run up the score against an underwhelming opponent.

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