Harbaugh Shares Backup QB Strategy After Playing Both Peters and Milton

joe milton michigan

Harbaugh Shares Backup QB Strategy After Playing Both Peters and Milton

Football

Harbaugh Shares Backup QB Strategy After Playing Both Peters and Milton

Unfairly or not, Michigan’s matchup on Saturday against Rutgers was viewed as a prime opportunity to see how the Wolverines backups would perform, with a keen eye on the maize and blue’s signal callers.

With backup quarterback Dylan McCaffrey having broken his collarbone against Penn State, and being likely out for the season, Michigan is in dire need of having a QB who can come in and run the show should something happen to starter Shea Patterson. Of course, having competent and capable quarterback play is necessary to run Jim Harbaugh’s offense, and there were certainly struggles a year ago after former starter Wilton Speight left the season with injury at Purdue.

So, on Saturday, the biggest question in the expected (and eventual) blowout was which would be the first off the bench?

Well, it was former starter Brandon Peters, who throughout much of the season seemed to be the third QB on the depth chart. But, after handing the ball off to Chris Evans for a 61 yard touchdown, true freshman Joe Milton — who now has two games of eligibility left should his redshirt be preserved — came in for three plays.

The final drive started with walk-on backup Michael Sessa, before Milton came in and handed the ball off to finish the game.

Harbaugh said after the game that the intent was to play both — not just one, given the need for live game reps.

“Wanted to get them both playing, get them both reps,” Harbaugh said. :”Brandon’s series was only one play, because Chris popped the long 68-yarder. And then, really, had the three plays at the very end.

“They both need game reps as we move forward. Get them ready before you need them.”

So with that continuing to be the plan, is there one that’s preferential over the other?

Harbaugh says that they both have pluses, and that he would like both to continue to get opportunities, just in case they’re needed in a crucial period.

“I think the way we’re going is we like things that both can do,” Harbaugh said. “If we’re in that situation, keep getting them ready. Keep getting them both ready to play and be ready to have them both if that need arises.”

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