JJ McCarthy has been at Michigan long enough to have experience in multiple big games on the grandest stage of college football.

The quarterback got varied experience against Georgia 2 seasons ago, and TCU last year. Those games have fueled his motivation for this season to reach what he calls his “ultimate goal.” His 1A goal is to win a national championship, and his 1B goal is to never lose to Ohio State.

“I have a lot of goals, we have a lot of goals, but it’s to bring a national championship to Ann Arbor. We’re just so close,” he told ESPN.

McCarthy is trying to reset the memories from last season where he put up big numbers against TCU, including a career-high 343 passing yards against TCU. He accounted for 3 touchdowns, but he also had 2 interceptions returned for touchdowns as Michigan trailed 21-3 and 34-16 before it ultimately lost 51-45.

All that was a different experience than the prior season against Georgia.

“[TCU] definitely hurt a whole lot more,” he said. “When I went in freshman year and we were playing the defense of the decade, it was kind of like, ‘All right, let’s see what I can do out here.’ Realistic expectation set in, like, ‘It’s going to be tough.’ But this TCU one, it was all in my hands. It was obviously a team effort, but I was in the driver’s seat. It’s a whole different pain that I’ve felt, and one that’s still driving me today.”