Michigan’s Cade McNamara ‘inspiring’ off bench in comeback win over Rutgers

Michigan pulled off a 48-42 victory in triple time beyond regulation towards Rutgers on Saturday, rallying from a 17-point deficit to drag off the third-largest comeback win at school historical past.

With the visiting Wolverines scoreless deep into the second quarter, coach Jim Harbaugh pulled beginning quarterback Joe Milton and changed him with backup Cade McNamara.

Milton was 5-of-12 passing for 89 yards and no touchdowns when he was changed, and McNamara immediately gave Michigan (2-3) a spark on offense.

“He was excellent. Actually gritty, actually gritty efficiency in all methods,” Harbaugh stated of the redshirt freshman. “Tremendous job executing, was excellent. His play was inspiring, so yeah, cannot say sufficient nice issues. So happy with him.”

McNamara entered the sport within the second quarter and led Michigan to a landing in his first drive, then bought the Wolverines into area purpose place earlier than the tip of the primary half. Kicker Quinn Nordin missed the sector purpose try, however the workforce made up for the missed alternative when large receiver Giles Jackson returned a kickoff for a landing to open the second half.

Milton, a redshirt sophomore, began the sport after Harbaugh had stated he would open up the quarterback competitors following Michigan’s 49-11 loss to Wisconsin. Harbaugh acknowledged, nevertheless, that bringing in McNamara gave the workforce some confidence and the spark it wanted to return again and win Saturday’s sport.

“It was nice to see our gamers having enjoyable,” Harbaugh stated. “Noticed so many good issues out of him, the way in which he performed, the way in which he executed, how he was ready for the sport. Gritty, it was a gritty efficiency, but additionally actually nice quarterback play.”

McNamara completed 27-of-36 for 260 yards and 4 touchdowns with no interceptions and likewise rushed for a rating. He is solely the fourth Michigan quarterback over the previous 20 years with 4 touchdowns passing and one dashing in a sport, becoming a member of Devin Gardner, Denard Robinson and Steve Smith.

The play at quarterback was a vibrant spot within the sport, however the protection continued to battle. Within the 5 video games within the collection earlier than this one, Michigan had given up 37 mixed factors to Rutgers (1-4) in contrast with 42 in Saturday’s sport alone.

The Wolverines’ protection has already given up 137 factors on the season, essentially the most via 5 video games within the workforce’s historical past.

However on condition that Michigan entered on a three-game skid, getting a victory and ending a sport was the workforce’s precedence.

“This win meant all the things,” linebacker Josh Ross stated. “Our purpose coming into this week was simply to be 1-0, and we achieved that. We had an amazing week of preparation, and though we gave up lots of factors on protection, we nonetheless got here out with the win and we fought our butt off the entire sport, all the way in which to the tip, and we got here out with the [win].”

Harbaugh has stated all through the season he has wished to see his gamers belief themselves, belief their expertise and play freely the way in which he is aware of they’re able to enjoying. He stated he noticed that on Saturday from his workforce, and whereas they acknowledged it wasn’t excellent, the Wolverines are taking the win as a optimistic and intention to make use of it as a basis shifting ahead.

“That sport might’ve gone both approach — I felt each groups performed their hearts out, made performs,” Harbaugh stated. “Guys had been having at it. I used to be blissful to see our guys making the performs, having enjoyable, enjoying their hearts out. That is been gut-wrenching to not see our guys having enjoyable.

“Tonight they did, and we had been capable of get the victory. It is going to be a contented flight dwelling.”

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