J.J. McCarthy explains what it was like to play without Jim Harbaugh as his coach
On a day that could only be described as a triumph for Michigan Football, the Wolverines gloriously marked the start of their season with a resounding 30-3 victory over East Carolina. The Wolverines accumulated 402 yards against the Pirates' 235, and quarterback J.J. McCarthy was brilliant as he completed 26 out of 30 passes for 280 yards, but not everything was sunshine. That's because Jim Harbaugh was nowhere to be found as he began serving his 3-game suspension.
What Did J.J. McCarthy Say About Jim Harbaugh?
Harbaugh's absence was highlighted when McCarthy was seen donning a ‘Free Harbaugh' shirt during warmups, signaling the camaraderie and the gaping void the coach left behind. In his own words, McCarthy candidly confessed post-game, “I just felt like something was missing today. It was definitely him.”
“It's as simple as this, I just want my coach back,” McCarthy said about his shirt. Just simple as that. I just want him back.”
“I'm not gonna lie to you,” said McCarthy. “I wasn't expecting it to be that much different. But I personally just felt like something was missing today. It was definitely him. Like he has just this presence that it's all about winning, all about competing, all about pushing through, like just the simplest, the pregame speech, like I was missing that voice. And yeah, it just like, It really sucked going out there in the first game and [Harbaugh] not being out there, because he put as much blood sweat and tears into this as much as we have. So it's unfortunate, but we know we get him back in week four, and he's gonna be hungrier than ever.”
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- The Michigan Wolverines triumphed over East Carolina with a dominant 30-3 scoreline, showcasing their prowess at the start of the season.
- Star quarterback J.J. McCarthy delivered an impressive performance, completing 26 out of 30 passes. Despite the win, he highlighted a noticeable void on the field due to the absence of suspended head coach, Jim Harbaugh.
- Beyond the game stats, there was an emotional undertone. Players, especially McCarthy, emphasized the deep bond and influence Harbaugh holds, expressing how football is as much about relationships as it is about gameplay. The team eagerly looks forward to Harbaugh's return in Week 4.
Bottom Line – A Hollow Victory?
While the Wolverines undoubtedly celebrated their well-earned victory against East Carolina, the game was bittersweet. McCarthy's heartfelt admission shed light on a fundamental truth about sports – sometimes, it's the off-field dynamics that influence the game as much as on-field strategies. With that being said, the Wolverines should blow out their first three opponents with or without Harbaugh.