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Nittany Lions could see McNamara at QB for Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan desperately needed a player to produce and provide an emotional lift.

Cade McNamara delivered, replacing Joe Milton in the second quarter of last week’s 48-42 triple-overtime win at Rutgers.

Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh seemed to say McNamara did enough to win the job shortly after that game. Two days later, he pumped the breaks to perhaps give Penn State some doubt about who will take the first snap on Saturday at the Big House.

“I’m not going to make any dramatic announcement,” Harbaugh said.

Michigan defensive back Vincent Gray, though, shared what didn’t seem to be much of a secret: “From the looks of it, I think Cade’s gonna be starting.”

McNamara began 2020 third on the depth chart behind Milton and Dylan McCaffrey. The brother of Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey chose not to come back to the program this fall for a fourth season and Milton simply did not produce enough to keep his job.

McNamara replaced Milton against the Scarlet Knights and threw four touchdown passes and ran for another score. After the game, Harbaugh was asked if McNamara would be his quarterback going forward.

“The way he played tonight, he’s going to be in there,” he said.

McNamara believes he is ready to lead Michigan (2-3) against the Nittany Lions (0-5) in his first college start.

“I feel like I’ve done enough for me to be in that position,” he said. “That’s coach Harbaugh’s decision, whatever is best for the team. I’m confident enough in myself that if my number’s called again, I can perform the same way.”

Michigan defensive tackle Donovan Jeter has also moved into the startling lineup for the first time. It has been a reward for offseason training that started on campus last winter and continued back home in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

“There will never be a time when you work hard and it doesn’t pay off,” Jeter said.

— The Associated Press

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