Michigan football’s Cade McNamara might have saved Jim Harbaugh’s work

Until finally the backup quarterback entered late in the next quarter, Jim Harbaugh was headed for his worst decline as Michigan’s head football coach. Social media experienced him fired. Or preferred him fired. Or wished him fired. 

The Wolverines had been down two touchdowns. They hadn’t scored. They appeared lifeless the moment all over again. 

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Joe Milton, who’d struggled a week previously against Wisconsin, was having difficulties once more. He’d missed seven of his 8 passes. And no volume of attaboys or shoulder-pad thumps from Harbaugh could snap him from the funk. 

Finally, mercifully, Harbaugh yanked his setting up quarterback and gave the ball to Cade McNamara. On his initially play, he handed off to Zach Charbonnet for 3 yards.  

Michigan Wolverines quarterback Cade McNamara (12) celebrates his touchdown Nov. 21, 2020, against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during the second overtime with wide receiver Ronnie Bell (8) at SHI Stadium.

On his 2nd play, he threw to Mike Sainristil. On his third enjoy, he dropped back, Charbonnet blocked a hurrying defender to give him time, and McNamara flipped it 30 yards to a streaking Cornelius Johnson, who sprinted to the end zone untouched. 

In three snaps the backup altered the momentum, the tone, the vitality, the match, the period and probably even the trajectory of Harbaugh’s postseason route. A decline to Rutgers most likely would not have ended his time in Ann Arbor. 

But it absolutely would’ve intensified the possibility.   

As a substitute, U-M survived. Showed a little bit of poise. Had a very little luck, indeed. But held off an improved Rutgers group in triple time beyond regulation48-42, immediately after just about 5 hrs on the industry.