Jim Harbaugh is heading into The Game this year with a new starting quarterback. That would be JJ McCarthy who captured the starting spot in 2022 while Michigan’s starter from last season — Cade McNamara — is out with an injury.

McCarthy did not enter this season without any experience. He saw action in 11 games as a true freshman, including the win over the Buckeyes.

Last season, McCarthy completed 1 pass for 31 yards and carried the ball twice for 12 yards against Ohio State. This time around, he’ll play a larger and more crucial role for the Wolverines.

Asked about his message for McCarthy heading into the game, Harbaugh simply said “Have at it.” Harbaugh also said the QB has the “it” factor and is “fiercely protective of the team.”

We’ll find out this Saturday if McCarthy is ready to carry the load in Columbus. This season, he has completed 66.8% of his passes for 1,952 yards with 14 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions.