Harbaugh squashes quarterback debate
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was as deceiving as he could be when it came to addressing the quarterback battle in the preseason. He implemented a media lockout for three weeks and didn’t make the decision official until the first offensive series against Utah.
On Monday, Harbaugh was as transparent as a baggie.
With Jake Rudock’s struggles through three games, the quarterback decision was a popular topic of discussion at Harbaugh’s weekly presser. Well, it wasn’t much of one after the Michigan coach made his intentions known.
“To be clear, Jake Rudock’s the best quarterback,” Harbaugh said. “Not by a small margin. He’s our best quarterback.”
Rudock hasn’t looked the part yet in the new system. On Saturday, he threw his fifth interception of the year on his 78th passing attempt. At Iowa last year, it took him 345 attempts to reach that mark.
On the season, Rudock has three touchdown passes and has thrown for 582 yards, but is coming off a 123-yard effort in a 28-7 win against UNLV. Michigan has outscored its last two opponents 63-14 despite the fact that Rudock has just one touchdown pass.
The Wolverines currently rank 94th in the country in passing and are 117th in yards per completion.
Harbaugh, however, has remained true to his decision to play Rudock over backup Shane Morris. Though Morris was the frontrunner coming out of spring camp, he wasn’t competing with Rudock until he enrolled over the summer.
Last week, Harbaugh even said that a redshirt could be possible for Morris. The junior southpaw has yet to see the field in 2015 after completing 14 of 40 passes for 128 yards and five interceptions last year.
Rudock only has one year of eligibility in Ann Arbor, and will apparently ride it out as the starter, health permitting. The guy who earned the starting job at Iowa over Rudock, C.J. Beathard, led the Hawkeyes to a 3-0 start.
Michigan will finish non-conference play against No. 22 BYU, which has thrived with backup quarterback Tanner Mangum. Kickoff is set for noon in Ann Arbor.