Pending an injunction filed by Michigan, the team will be playing Penn State Saturday without its head coach Jim Harbaugh.
The Big Ten announced Friday that it’s banned Harbaugh from coaching in any of Michigan’s last three regular season games, starting Saturday in Happy Valley.
This is, of course, in relation to the NCAA’s investigation into Michigan for alleged illegal sign-stealing.
If Michigan’s injunction effort works, Harbaugh will be able to coach against Penn State. But as it stands, he won’t be. In any case, Harbaugh will still be able to do his job during the week, which includes running all of Michigan’s practices.
Michigan’s starting QB, J.J. McCarthy, isn’t suspended for Saturday, and he offered a one-word post on social media that seems to be a clear reaction to the Harbaugh news.
— J.J. McCarthy (@jjmccarthy09) November 10, 2023
A five-star recruit from the Class of 2021, McCarthy is in his second season as Michigan’s starter. He’s developed into one of college football’s best quarterbacks. Through nine games this season, McCarthy’s thrown 18 touchdowns and just three interceptions with 2,134 passing yards. His QBR of 92.3 is second in the country.
This will be McCarthy’s second start against Penn State. Last year, he went 17-24 for 145 yards and a touchdown. Michigan won, 41-17, and went onto win the Big Ten and make the College Football Playoff for the second straight season, where it fell to TCU in the semifinal.
Penn State’s second in the country in total defense, and Michigan’s the only team ahead of it. So like could be difficult for both McCarthy and Penn State QB Drew Allar, who will be starting against Michigan for the first time.
Kickoff is scheduled for noon on Fox. We’ll see if Jim Harbaugh is on the sidelines.