ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — J.J. McCarthy did enough to win the job.
McCarthy was sharp in his first start, throwing for three touchdowns to help No. 4 Michigan overwhelm Hawaii 56-10 on Saturday night.
Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh said McCarthy will be the team’s first-string quarterback next week against Connecticut.
“He’s earned it,” Harbaugh said.
McCarthy had his turn to take the first snap after Big Ten championship-winning quarterback Cade McNamara had a lackluster performance in the season-opening win over Colorado State as the starter.
The sophomore made the most of his opportunity against the Rainbow Warriors, throwing a 42-yard touchdown pass to Roman Wilson on his second snap and 13-yard pass to Ronnie Bell early in the second quarter to give the Wolverines (2-0) a four-touchdown lead.
“It was a near-flawless performance,” Harbaugh said. “He was 11 for 12, and one was dropped.”
McNamara entered the game with 6:22 left in the first half and took a sack to end his first possession.
McCarthy went back in and threw for his third score, dropping back and stepping up in the pocket before connecting with Cornelius Johnson for a 17-yard touchdown late in the first half to give Michigan a 42-0 lead.
“I can’t remember having one like that myself,” said Harbaugh, a former Michigan and NFL quarterback.
McCarthy, a former five-star recruit, finished 11 of 12 for 229 yards without a turnover.
“He controlled the game,” said Blake Corum, who ran for 88 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. “He was confident. I expected nothing less.”
McNamara started the second half and the senior finished 4 of 6 for 26 yards with an interception.
“He’s got gravel in his guts,” Harbaugh said. “He’ll be ready for his next opportunity.”
The Rainbow Warriors (0-3) were scoreless until late in the third quarter when Matthew Shipley made a 26-yard field goal, taking advantage of favorable field position following their second sack of McNamara.
With Michigan backups getting a chance to play, freshman Tylan Hines ran for a 54-yard score to make it 49-10.
“What an experience for these guys that get to play here, and play an opponent like that,” Hawaii first-year coach Timmy Chang said. “I’m proud of them. I’m proud of how they played four quarters, but it was a tall task for us.”