It took until Michigan completed two games, but Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh has finally named an official starting quarterback.

After the bizarre preseason announcement that Cade McNamara would start the season opener vs Colorado State and J.J. McCarthy would start Michigan’s second game against Hawaii (and then making the quarterback battle even more bizarre with biblical comparisons), Harbaugh told the media on Saturday night that McCarthy will be the starting quarterback going forward.

Harbaugh said that McCarthy won the job “based on merit.”

Michigan won in blowout fashion in each game, taking down Colorado State 51-7 in Week 1, followed by a 56-10 win over Hawaii on Saturday night.

McNamara wasn’t asked to do much in the win over Colorado State, completing 9-of-18 passes for 136 yards (7.6 AVG) and one touchdown.

McCarthy, meanwhile, was sensational vs Hawaii, completing 11-of-12 passes for 229 yards (19.1 AVG) and three touchdowns. He got all of those numbers in the first half. McNamara also got some playing time in the blowout, going 4-of-6 for 28 yards (4.3 AVG) and an interception.

Even in the Colorado State game, McCarthy showed off his skills in limited playing time. He went 4-for-4 for 30 yards as a passer and had three carries for 50 yards and a touchdown.

McNamara, a senior, is in his third season as a Michigan quarterback.

But McCarthy, a sophomore, clearly gives the Wolverines a higher upside, and he’s the future at Michigan. He was a five-star recruit in the 2021 class.

Harbaugh wanted to give the veteran quarterback a chance, and you never know how young players are going to perform until you actually see it in game action. The Wolverines saw what they hoped to see from McCarthy, and then it became a pretty easy choice.

Michigan — ranked No. 4 in the AP Poll — has national title hopes, and McCarthy’s ability gives them a better chance to make a College Football Playoff run. Additionally, this will all accelerate his development for future seasons.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.