College notebook: Michigan plans to start QB McNamara, McCarthy in opening games

ANN ARBOR, Mich. β€” Jim Harbaugh has decided to start Big Ten championship-winning quarterback Cade McNamara when Michigan’s No. 8 opens his season Saturday at home against Colorado State.

When the Wolverines host Hawaii the following week, Harbaugh chose to give JJ McCarthy his first opportunity.

Harbaugh said no one can be sure who will be the team’s starting quarterback after the first two games.

“Nobody knows what the future holds,” he said Monday. β€œThe process will be based on performance.”

McNamara started every game last season as a junior, leading Michigan to a win over rival Ohio State for the first time in a decade and its first Big Ten title since 2004.

The third-team All-Big Ten player from Reno, Nevada, completed 64% of his passes for an average of 184 yards per game with 15 touchdown passes, one rushing touchdown and six interceptions. This summer, he was voted team captain.

McCarthy, from La Grange Park, Ill., played in 11 games last year as a highly touted freshman. He connected on 58% of his 59 passes for a total of 516 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions. He also had 124 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

KENTUCKY: RRunning back Chris Rodriguez Jr. will not play in Saturday night’s opener against Ohio’s Miami, and coach Mark Stoops expects multigame suspensions for the No. 20 Wildcats rushing leader and other players.

Rodriguez pleaded guilty this summer to drunk driving and other charges following his arrest in May. Neither the veteran nor linebacker Jordan Wright were listed on the depth chart released Monday, but Stoops said they were “unavailable” instead of being suspended. He did not provide further details during a news conference.

WISCONSIN: The Wisconsin quarterback’s depth has taken a hit heading into the 18th-ranked Badgers’ season opener.

Backup quarterback Chase Wolf injured his right leg and will be out indefinitely. That leaves starter Graham Mertz as the only available Wisconsin quarterback who has been snapped in a college game.

Coach Paul Chryst said the injury occurred last week and indicated he doesn’t know how much time Wolf will miss. The Badgers open their season on Saturday by hosting the Illinois State Football Championship Subdivision program.

KANSAS: Kansas has suspended starting wide receiver Trevor Wilson and backup Tanaka Scott indefinitely for the season opener against Tennessee Tech after both were arrested last week near campus.

Wilson was charged with suspected aggravated assault and use of a deadly weapon for Thursday’s incident, when a Lawrence police spokesman said a man pointed a gun at another car before driving away from the scene.

Wilson was released from the Douglas County Jail on $5,000 bond and is due back in court Tuesday. The same charges against Tanaka were dismissed on Friday for lack of probable cause.

ALABAMA: TThe status of right wing Cameron Latu is uncertain for the opener against Utah State with an undisclosed injury.

Top-ranked Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said Latu would resume practice on Monday.

“I don’t think anyone can make a prediction on that at this point,” Saban said. He’s been on the treadmill and all for the past week. He has never had a problem, he has never had a problem. So the next thing he does is start working on dry land, doing something individual, seeing what he can do in practice. It’s a bit of day-to-day with him.”

Latu is a second-team All-Southeastern Conference preseason selection by media covering the league. His eight touchdown receptions last season were an Alabama record for a tight end.

He was not among the four tight ends listed on the depth chart released Monday.

NOTRE DAME: CCoach Marcus Freeman said offensive lineman Jarrett Patterson was questionable for the Fighting Irish’s opener against No. 2 Ohio State.

Patterson has been dealing with a right foot injury for about two weeks. Freeman said she expected the fifth-year student to practice this week.

TEXAS A&M: Haynes King will start for the sixth-seeded Texas A&M Aggies in their opener against Sam Houston State on Saturday.

Trainer Jimbo Fisher announced that King had won the job after competing with Max Johnson and Conner Weigman during camp.

Vanderbilt: Vanderbilt Stadium will be called FirstBank Stadium starting this season under an announced 10-year naming rights deal.

Athletic director Candice Lee called the deal a historic collaboration. Financial terms were not disclosed by the only private university in the Southeastern Conference.

BROWN: Center Nick Brahms is giving up his playing career due to persistent knee problems.

Coach Bryan Harsin announced the veteran starter’s decision five days before Auburn’s first game against Mercer. Brahms, a sixth-year student, has started 33 games over the past four seasons.

Brahms missed the Birmingham Bowl after knee surgery.

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