Hawaii vs. Michigan: Get To Know The Wolverines
Now it’s Warriors turn to see the Wolverines
Another Mountain West team is facing Michigan this week and it is the Hawaii Warriors who are making the very long trip to Ann Arbor for a paycheck game and to get some good experience against a top notch opponent.
To get more questions answered about the Wolverines we reached out to the fine folks at Wolverines Wire to answer a few questions. The big one is the new quarterback J.J. McCarthy who is getting his chance to start after it was Cade McNamara‘s turn against Colorado State last week
1. J.J. McCarthy is getting his turn to start after Cade McNamara, after seeing the former who do you think should be the starter going forward?
It’s hard to give a precise answer here because we have never seen J.J. McCarthy start a game in college. We have seen McCarthy in a reserve role before and he looks the part of a high-level collegiate starter. What I can say, is that Cade McNamara started last week, and he has said that he feels he has played the best football of his life this spring, but against Colorado State that didn’t match up. McNamara was errant early and just didn’t connect with the same receivers he had last year. McCarthy came in during the second half and led Michigan to two touchdowns during his drives. Depending on how he looks against Hawaii, I think it sets up to be McCarthy’s job to lose.
2. Hawaii has not looked good on defense this year, giving up 112 total points in two games. What do you expect from McCarthy and this offense going up against a not-so-great defense?
McCarthy is a flat-out playmaker. He can use his legs as much as he can use his arm to make plays. He runs at four-four to four-five 40-time. We already know that the Wolverines can run the ball with Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards, so if McCarthy can live up to everything we’ve been told and what we’ve seen in small portions, then I think Michigan can have an explosive night on Saturday.
3. Hawaii is going to want to spread the ball around and throw it under Timmy Chang‘s offense, how good is the Michigan secondary in going up against a team that might throw it close to 40 times?
Michigan lost three starters from 2021, but the Wolverines return players with experience. The starting nickel, Mike Sainristil, converted to defense this past spring after playing receiver his first three years. Granted he played cornerback in his high school days, but it’s still a pretty large transition. Against Colorado State, the Wolverines played the pass great, but Michigan also was in the backfield on Clay Millen a ton — they sacked him seven times. But, I think Michigan has the talent and experience to hold up against Hawaii in the passing game on Saturday due to its pass rush and experience in the secondary.
4. Give Hawaii fans some hope, what is the biggest weakness on this Michigan team?
Honestly, Michigan is fairly loaded at every position, but if you look at PFF, the Wolverines were ranked 112th in pass blocking. PFF gave the maize and blue a 50.1 grade after facing Colorado State. Michigan was without its starting left tackle, Ryan Hayes, against the Rams but he is expected to return this coming weekend. Michigan also started a new right tackle this past Saturday in Trente Jones, who looked good most of the game but allowed a sack on a third down. If I were Hawaii, I would bring a lot of pressure from the right side of the line and just see what happens.
5. How do you see this game playing out?
Look this is a starting quarterback audition for J.J. McCarthy and after Cade McNamara’s performance this past weekend, the door is wide open. McCarthy was a five-star phenom coming out of high school and I fully expect him to take advantage of this opportunity that Jim Harbaugh has given him. I know that Michigan is favored by 51 points, and I wasn’t sure the Wolverines would cover, but the more I think about what’s at stake for McCarthy, I think the Michigan offense will take advantage of a Hawaii team that allows 56 points-per-game. My prediction is Michigan 63, Hawaii 10.