For the past nine months, Michigan football spoke of how it planned to expand its passing game.
If Saturday's season-opener against East Carolina was a chance to send that message, it came through loud and clear.
Even with coach Jim Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore absent from Michigan Stadium (serving program-imposed suspensions in relation to
an on-going NCAA investigation into recruiting violations), the Wolverines appeared in midseason form.
J.J. McCarthy completed 26 of 30 passes for 280 yards and three scores, all to newly anointed No. 1 wide receiver Roman Wilson as part of his six-catch,
78-yard performance while Blake Corum ran in a score and the defense nearly pitched a shutout as No. 2 Michigan football hammered East Carolina, 30-3, to kick off the 2023 season.
"I was talking to some of the boys in the locker room yesterday and I was like 'man, I got this weird feeling' because I feel so good," McCarthy said after the game.
"Last year, I had to deal with a shoulder injury, with the quarterback battle and there was just a lot of resistance and a lot of stuff to push throw.
"This one, felt effortless. Felt uplifting eery single snap, it just felt like everything was going right."
The defense, despite missing No. 1 cornerback Will Johnson and All-Big Ten safety Rod Moore due to injury, didn't miss a beat.
Instead, the Wolverines used their opener to continue to find their best rotation both in the trenches and the secondary as players constantly shuffled in and out.
The first defensive line that came in: Braiden McGregor, Kris Jenkins, Mason Graham and Jaylen Harrell. The result? Three-and-out.
On the next series, Derrick Moore, Kenneth Grant, Cam Goode and Josaiah Stewart all rotated in up front. The result? Interception.