Michigan football starts the second half of its season on Saturday and here are five predictions for the Wolverines in their final six games of the regular season.
It’s been a dream season so far for Michigan football. The Wolverines are 6-0, ranked in the top 10, and playing some of the best football of the Jim Harbaugh era.
The Wolverines have had some strong runs under Harbaugh. They won nine consecutive games to open the 2016 season, reaching No. 2 in the polls before losing three of four.
Michigan football did something similar in 2018, winning 10 straight games before dropping the last two to Ohio State and then Florida in the bowl game.
So while this season has started tremendously, can the Wolverines avoid a sluggish finish against a brutal schedule that features the Buckeyes, Penn State, and Michigan State — with two of the three games on the road?
It remains to be seen but here are five bold predictions for the second half of the season.
Cade McNamara starts the rest of the way
As Harbaugh said Monday, J.J. McCarthy is going to have a role going forward. It’s worked on in practice every week but Cade McNamara is going to be the starting quarterback, outside of injury for the rest of the season.
Fans have been critical of his performance, and I have too at times, especially after the Rutgers game, but he proved something against Wisconsin and Nebraska.
He completed 59 percent of his throws in the two games and averaged 226 yards. He also threw one interception and took a sack but that was the first time either of those things happened all season.
And McNamara has done a great job avoiding sacks. Sometimes he’ll throw the ball at the feet of receivers but it’s intended in some instances. You can see he’s throwing the ball away but doing it in a way to avoid a penalty or a sack.
Outside of penalties and obviously turnovers, nothing kills a drive faster than a sack.
Cade has been exceptional at avoiding those and turnovers — two reasons Michigan football is undefeated and he’s responded with big drives when needed such as in the third quarter at Wisconsin and also in the fourth at Nebraska.
He threw his first interception and then led a touchdown drive on the next possession. Cade is also a great leader and while McCarthy should have a role, especially running the ball, this is Cade’s team to quarterback, at least for 2021.