As has fared with other Michigan QBs, JJ McCarthy faces his first Ohio State start

ANN ARBOR — Michigan went on an eight-game losing streak against Ohio State in 2021, with a quarterback making its first appearance against the Buckeyes.

With last year’s starter Cade McNamara out for the remainder of 2022, it will be JJ McCarthy facing OSU for the first time in his young career. He played six snaps against the Buckeyes in a tempo-changing role in 2021, but he now holds the keys to offense this season.

McCarthy could also play a bigger role on Michigan’s offense on Saturday as the status of the star running back Blake Corum is uncertain. With Corum paused for the s

While McNamara helped lead the Wolverines to a win last season, other signal callers for the Wolverines weren’t as successful in their first start against their Ohio rival.

Here’s how each of the last 10 Michigan quarterbacks fared on their first crack at OSU.

2021: Cade McNamara

The Wolverines were one of college football’s biggest surprises last season, but McNamara didn’t seem to get much credit for the team’s resurgence. Much like this year, the team’s quick attack drew the most attention to its offensive success. McCarthy had been spelling out McNamara all year to give the defense a different look, but it was McNamara who played most of the snaps against the Buckeyes.

Michigan ended its long losing streak with a 41-27 win, and it was Hassan Haskins with 165 yards and five touchdowns who proved decisive. McNamara completed 13 of 19 passes for 159 yards. He also threw an interception on the Wolverines’ second drive that resulted in an OSU field goal.

2018: Shea Patterson

Many thought that Patterson could potentially be the missing piece Michigan needed to compete with OSU. But in 2018 it probably wouldn’t have mattered who was behind the center for the Wolverines. Ohio State rushed for 567 yards in a 62-39 win at Columbus. Patterson, a former five-star recruit transferring from Ole Miss, was 20 of 34 passes for 187 yards and three touchdowns. He also gained 29 yards on six attempts.

However, his interception deep in Michigan territory essentially ended any comeback hope for the Wolverines. The Buckeyes took advantage of the small field and extended their lead to 41-19 with a Mike Weber rushing touchdown.

Patterson also had another try at OSU in 2019, but the result was similar — a 57-26 loss.

2017: John O’Korn

Michigan’s offense struggled in the 2017 season, and the team fielded three quarterbacks over the course of the year: Wilton Speight, Brandon Peters, and O’Korn. With Speight and Peters injured, O’Korn got the nod against the Buckeyes. The Wolverines were a massive home underdog, but they took a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter with a touchdown pass from O’Korn to Sean McKeon.

However, OSU came back with a 31-20 win and a berth in the Big Ten championship game. Michigan finished the year 8-5.

2016: Wilton Speight

In his first season as a starter, Speight led Michigan to a 9-0 start before an upset in Iowa. Still, the Wolverines still had a shot at a Big Ten East crown with a win over Ohio State. “The point” is still debated to this day, but Michigan missed several opportunities to buck the Buckeyes before overtime. The Wolverines’ defense was dominant in the first half, but the Buckeyes cut their lead to 17-14 late in the third quarter after taking advantage of a Speight interception.

Speight also fumbled near the OSU goal line – one of his three turnovers of the game. Despite sacking OSU quarterback JT Barrett eight times and holding him for 124 yards on 15 of 32 passes, Michigan failed to finish the job in Columbus, losing 30-27 in overtime. Speight completed 23 of 36 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns.

2015: Jake Rudock

Absent a last-second disaster on a punt attempt against Michigan State, Michigan would have been undefeated in Big Ten play when he entered the OSU matchup in Harbaugh’s freshman season. Rudock, a transfer from Iowa, had a solid year for the Wolverines but left the game against the Buckeyes in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury.

By this point, the game was already out of reach as Ezekiel Elliott and JT Barrett split Michigan’s defense on the ground in a 42-13 win. Rudock was 19th of 32 passers for 263 yards and a touchdown before being replaced by Speight.

2013: Devin Gardner

Gardner began his career at Michigan in 2010 as a quarterback before briefly switching to receiver in 2012. But after Robinson’s departure, he switched back to undefeated Buckeyes at quarterback in 2013.

Gardner led the way, throwing for 451 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for another, but his pass attempt on a last-minute two-point try was intercepted as OSU held onto a 42-41 win.

The former top 100 recruit got another crack at OSU the following year but didn’t fare nearly as well in a 42-28 loss.

2010: Denard Robinson

Robinson was a 2010 Heisman Trophy contender despite Michigan’s mediocre results on the field. However, the dual-threat quarterback didn’t fare well against the eighth-ranked Buckeyes. He played just over a half before leaving with a left hand injury and completing 8 of 18 passes for 87 yards.

He also rushed for 105 yards on 18 tries before Tate Forcier stepped in in the third quarter. The Wolverines’ offense yielded just one touchdown in a 37-7 loss.

2009: TateForcier

The Wolverines went 5-6 in “The Game” against the 9-2 Buckeyes but stayed within striking distance in all four quarters. Forcier’s only touchdown pass – an 18-yarder to Vincent Smith – reduced the team’s lead to 14-10 at the 10:05 mark of the third quarter. The Buckeyes made it a two-point game in just over 5 minutes and left Ann Arbor in a 21-10 win.

Forcier, a former top-150 recruit, was 23 of 38 passes for 226 yards, but he also threw four interceptions, including two in the fourth quarter inside OSU territory.

2008: Nick Sheridan

Sheridan, a redshirt freshman, took Steven Threet’s starting job in Week 9 and was tasked with trying to lead a 3-8 Michigan team to an upset over No. 10 OSU (9-2) in Rich Rodriguez’s freshman year respectively. It didn’t happen when the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines 42-7.

Michigan punted 12 times and only managed 198 yards of offense. Sheridan completed 8 of 24 passes for 87 yards.

2004: Chad Henne

After John Navarre earned his first win over the Buckeyes in his third crack with them in 2003, the Wolverines handed the reins to rookie and former Five Star recruit Chad Henne in 2004.

Michigan No. 7 went into the game 9-1 and was favored against a 6-4 OSU team but couldn’t overcome a meltdown in the second and third quarters. After a touchdown run by Mike Hart gave the Wolverines a 14-7 lead midway through the first quarter, the Buckeyes responded with 27 straight points in a 37-21 win. Henne threw for 328 yards and two touchdowns, but completed only 27 of 54 passes. He was also picked up twice.

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