Cade McNamara entered in relief of a struggling Joe Milton, earning the trust of head coach Jim Harbaugh who may have saved his job with the quarterback change.
The Michigan Wolverines appeared to be on the verge of losing their fourth-straight game of the season on Saturday evening. To make matters worse, they were losing to the former punching bags of the Big Ten in the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Michigan looked to be in for a rough night, as they trailed 17-0 in the second quarter.
Quarterback Joe Milton was struggling from the get-go, and a loss would all but confirm that head coach Jim Harbaugh would be shown the door at the end of the 2020 season. Many a Michigan football fan was no doubt envisioning his replacement. Harbaugh opted to bench Milton in favor of one Cade McNamara, and the sophomore led the Wolverines to a 48-42 triple-overtime victory. Not only did he bring Michigan back from the brink of embarrassment, but he also might’ve saved Harbaugh’s job.
Cade McNamara puts on a show in Piscataway
It didn’t take long for McNamara to make an impact. On his third play of the game, McNamara uncorked a beautiful 46-yard pass to wide receiver Cornelius Johnson for Michigan’s first (and not last) touchdown of the game.
McNamara brought the good mojo to Michigan, as the team scored on the opening kickoff of the second half. In their next drive, McNamara hit tight end Nick Eubanks for an eight-yard touchdown. Michigan would finally pull ahead in the game in the fourth quarter, where he connected on a six-yard touchdown pass to receiver Mike Sainristil to give them a 28-27 lead.
Shortly thereafter, Michigan would extend their lead to 35-27 after McNamara connected with Johnson for another touchdown with five minutes remaining in regulation. Sure, Rutgers did tie things up in the waning seconds, but Michigan and McNamara got the last laugh in triple overtime with a game-winning, goal-line touchdown run by Hassan Haskins.
McNamara finished his night with 260 passing yards and four touchdowns through the air on a 75.0 completion percentage, while rushing for a touchdown in double overtime.
Harbaugh tried to run his offense through Milton in the first four games of the season, but it didn’t work out, especially in the early goings-on their road trip in New Jersey. After leaning to McNamara, he very well may have saved his skin. The future looks bright with the sophomore under center, and we’ll see if he can put up a repeat performance next week against Penn State.