Harbaugh will let Michigan QB battle play out

by Ricardo Gutierrez - Quarterback Cade McNamara had a stellar start in Michigan's 51-7 win over Colorado State, coach Jim Harbaugh says J.J. McCarthy will get his shot as the starter in Game 2 vs. Hawai'i.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh staying the course, giving Cade McNamara, J.J. McCarthy each a start as Wolverines' quarterback battle continues 11:58 AM ET Tom VanHaarenESPN Staff Writer Close ESPN staff writer Joined ESPN in 2011 Graduated from Central Michigan Michigan's starting quarterback has not been finalized yet as Cade McNamara and J.J. McCarthy continue to battle for the job, but Jim Harbaugh says he has explained the situation as much as he possibly can and will continue with his strategy. "We've plowed this ground about as thoroughly as it can possibly be plowed," Harbaugh said. "Dating back to the summer when you asked the question, I said one could start, the other could start or a combination of both in the game. Those are the options. Happy that we've still got another week to look at it, as we said each would get a start. Make it as fair as it can be." McNamara started the first game of the season against Colorado State, completing nine of 18 passes for 136 yards and one touchdown. McNamara told media after the game that he thought Harbaugh's plan to start him in game one and McCarthy in game two was unusual and unexpected. Editor's Picks Michigan's McNamara not expecting QB battle 2d Tom VanHaaren "I would definitely say it's pretty unusual," McNamara said after the game. "It was kind of a thing I wasn't expecting by the end of camp. I thought I had my best camp. I thought I put myself in a good position and that was just the decision that coach went with." When asked about the comments, Harbaugh said both McNamara and McCarthy are warriors and that he doesn't feel as though he needs to manage the situation. Harbaugh was complimentary of McNamara's performance in the game that Michigan won 51-7, and said McNamara was being more critical of himself than Harbaugh was. "Cade had a really solid game. I think he walks away mad at himself for missing CJ Johnson on the crossing route and threw the ball to CJ a little wide on the opposite boundary," Harbaugh said. "Other than that, made some terrific throws, heck of a two-minute drive, I think that's just the way he is. He's a perfectionist, I thought it was a pretty solid game." As to how this battle will go after this second game, Harbaugh didn't have an answer for how it will play out. McCarthy will get his shot against Hawaii to prove he should be the starter, but Harbaugh said the play on the field will determine what happens the rest of the season. "I think I said the same thing to you guys, I would prefer to have a starting quarterback going into each one and very transparent with that," Harbaugh said. "Also, said if things are exactly the same as they were coming out of camp, they're pretty close to dead even, then we were going to have to - as coaches - find a way to maximize both of their talents for the best use of the team. That remains a very viable option."