Jim Harbaugh lost his fourth straight edition of The Game on Saturday

Ohio State Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh Comment Count

Ethan Sears November 25th, 2018 at 12:35 AM

Things Discussed

  • Harbaugh's responsibility for the loss
  • The defense, lack of pass rush
  • Real injury updates (no, seriously)
  • The disappointment

[After THE JUMP: ,,,]


Jim, this was seen as the best opportunity since you've been here to beat Ohio State. DIdn’t happen. How much of the responsibility do you take personally?


 “Well, when things go good, things go great, good. If it doesn’t, you take responsibility for it.”


Jim, nobody really saw this coming, 62 points against your defense. How do you explain the performance today, overall, by your team?


“Well, they played great. Their third quarter, especially, a lot of speed plays that got out on the perimeter on got loose. Also set them up in good field position with a couple turnovers and of course the blocked punt contributed to the score as well.”


But overall, you couldn’t have been happy with your own team’s performance, could you?


“Like I said, I take responsibility for it.”


Jim, after seeing how they gave up 51 to Maryland and bumbled around a lot of other times, it it possible you guys — your players, not you — came in overconfident?




The progress you guys made this year — do you feel like today was a step backwards for you and your team?


“Like I said, it didn't go good. Didn’t end up good. And I would say — and we take responsibility for us.”


What can you tell us about Devin Bush’s health?


“Devin — he has a hip. I don't think it’s anything that’s gonna be long term. … He had a hip. Same with Grant Perry, had a hip pointer. David Long, looks like a hip flexor strain. Believe all three are not long term kind of injuries, but not good for today. (Zach) Gentry got a concussion. And Shea Patterson has a contusion on his knee. Knee bruise. Bone bruise.”


Coach, seemed like they came in with their usual attack plan, doing a loot of slant routes, crossing routes. Describe the preparation you had for your defense for (that)


“Well, they do a lot of things well. And they threw the ball downfield well. They threw the crossing routes, the slant routes extremely well. And ran the ball good. So, they did a great job.”


How difficult do you think it is gonna be going back to the drawing board?


“We’ll come back motivated and make darn sure it doesn't happen again.”


Jim, early, what was the offensive game plan early? Was it control the clock? Run the ball? What was your plan?


“Wanted to run our best plays. Throwing, moving the ball. Outside zone, inside power. We had basically everything. Drop back, zone read, was all in the plan. Rollouts, boots. That was our plan.”


Did you feel like your team was ready for everything Ohio State threw at you? Offensively and defensively? It seemed like they caught you off-guard


“They had several successful plays, no question about it. Especially, they got some real speed plays. Crossing routes hurt. Threw the ball downfield well. They did a nice job throwing and catching those. I thought their protection was really good. We didn’t get the pressure on the quarterback that we wanted to.”


Coach, aside from the scheme, after this loss, is there anything you see in terms of personnel — be it staff, be it in recruiting that you feel like you guys didn’t have and you need to go get?


“No, I like our players, like our coaches. They do a phenomenal job.”


Jim, prior to Shea going down, what did you think of his performance?


“I thought Shea really competed well. Played extremely well. Was really pleased, the way he played. He’s such a competitor. He was doing everything he could.”


I know you’ve seen a lot, in a lot of places. In your career, did you find this shocking?


“I thought Ohio State played really well. In all phases. Did a heck of a job. They’re a really good football team.”


Jim, last year after this game, you said the program needed to get stronger physically. You did a lot of stuff this offseason. What do you need now?


“Like I said, we’ll come back in our next game and be motivated to win our next game.”


Jim, why don't you think the pass rush was effective today?


“They did a really good job of protection.”


How would you compare this performance to the performance a couple years ago, at Ohio State? Just how you were feeling after the game


“Same. Just motivated to come back and make darn sure it doesn't happen again. Win our next game. That’s our motivation.”


You’re a pretty good historian of this series. Did you know coming in that they had never scored more than 50 in a game in this series?


“I believe I did, yes. And congratulations to them. They played really well.”


What’s your message to your team tonight?


“Same thing as I just told you.”





November 25th, 2018 at 9:24 AM ^

Bad loss that stings.  It sucks, but program momentum (multi-year) is still there.  For all the garment-rending, teeth-gnashing, amd wailing our fan base is doing now (with good reason), keep in mind that preseason expectations for this year ranged from 10-2 (at very best) to 7-5 (with most being 9-3).  Everyone was saying that this year would be a grind and 2019 would be THE year.  Our 2 losses are to (likely) CFP-bound teams, both on the road and with some bad luck/execution issues (i.e. not major talent disparity).  We could be in much worse shape.

What I want to see is FIRE going into the bowl game.  Last year, the team seemed to pack it up after the losses to Wisc and OSU and didn't show up against a weak South Carolina team, leading to a bad off season environment.  Be pissed and take it out on the PAC/SEC opponent.  Let Chase, Gary and they guys leaving end on a strong note and carry that energy into the next season.


November 25th, 2018 at 11:10 AM ^


There absolutely was an element of bad luck/execution that went into this loss.  Just before half this was still a one possession game.  The blocked punt that landed in the arms of a streaking punt rusher (never even touched the ground) and the bad pass that was picked after were both instances of fluke plays that went against us.  This doesn't mean we win the game if those were taken away, but it makes it closer.  The injuries piling against us is also just bad luck.


November 25th, 2018 at 12:32 PM ^

Ok, I see your POV and I couldn't disagree with you any more than I do.

A blocked punt run back for a TD isn't bad luck. It's a special teams breakdown at the line of scrimmage. 

A pick on a bad pass isn't bad luck. It's a bad pass. 

Milton's pick wasn't bad luck. It was the result of an absolutely shitty decision by Harbaugh to pull Peters and send out Milton. 


November 25th, 2018 at 1:18 PM ^

You’re mad, and that’s ok.


But just so we’re clear, nearly every single punt in all of football is close to being blocked. Most kicking plays are close to being blocked. It’s the way things are designed. 

An interception on a bad pass is, in my eyes, and I’m sure Coach’s eyes also, the best QB we’ve had since he arrived doing desperate things in a game this entire team desperately wanted and needed to win.

Inserting Milton into the game was smart for a number of reasons, first and foremost it gets him experience even if it’s negative. Now he’s been there albeit for a couple minutes. 

As as much as you’d like to think that this game is all about you and how angry you are as a fan, it isn’t. This is their team, their season, and their brotherhood. Be mad, but don’t try and stick this on one player, one play, or one decision. They got “out-athleted” when the injuries started pouring on. Period. 


November 25th, 2018 at 6:03 PM ^

You’re mad, and that’s ok


Why are you making the post personal?! 

There isn't any emotion in the post.  That person is quite factually stating that when you don't block a rusher, the punt can get blocked and the consequences aren't bad luck (it's not doing your job).

Same for when the QB throws up an airball.



November 25th, 2018 at 4:00 PM ^

if you don’t see losing 5 key players during the gAme to injuries, plus “losing” your best DLman late in the previous game as bad luck, I don’t know what to tell you.   

Getting 2-3 QB hits in the first half and the whole game could have been different.   We only got a couple of pressures in the game and both led to terrible throws.  


November 26th, 2018 at 9:54 AM ^

If "Jim's guys" coming in don't eat chicken, there's a shot, & since every injury Saturday turned into a TV timeout, I have to wonder if Jim was getting ad revenue kickbacks from Fox Sports. BTW, saying a team is "work in progress" is a delusional farce as you gain new players, you're also loosing talented guys with team chemistry. Every team everywhere is a work in progress. Listen to Nick Saban & you'd think Alabama is 3-8 as every post game interview he talks about something needing improvement. The reality is Michigan is no closer to beating OSU today as they were 4 years ago.


November 25th, 2018 at 10:50 AM ^

The bowl game is extremely important. It’s likely going to be a “BCS” bowl which while not quite as prestigious due to the playoffs are the next best thing.

11-2 is still pretty good and then hopefully the team can learn from this game to do better next year.


November 25th, 2018 at 10:58 AM ^

If Harbaugh has everyone on fire like the Rudddddock/Florida game I'll be happy, and sadly somewhat surprised. If it's another FSU/USC clusterfuck, I think you start to get some real talk (not Hawt Takes) about seriously restructuring Harbaugh's staff. 

10-3 is a great record. Losing to ND with a new QB in the first game is understandable. Constantly losing to one of the absolute best coaches/teams in American is understandable. 

Coming out flat in a bowl game and looking like shit, when you have something to prove is a bridge too far. 


November 25th, 2018 at 12:46 PM ^

Going into the season, was looking for 4 things:

1. BEAT MSU at all costs

2. Not just beat but crush PSU after last year

3. Finish at least 9-3

4. WIN the damn bowl game

While we got exposed yesterday, anyone who watched our games knew we had an Achilles heel with the passing routes. 

I don't think JH wanted to say it publicly but we need more speed in the secondary period. Including our nickel and dime backs. 

We need a game plan just for this game next year. 


November 25th, 2018 at 2:30 PM ^

"We need more speed in the secondary period." Exactly, which is why I don't understand not playing Ambry more.  He's a dynamic athlete with great speed.  He may not be as polished in bump and run coverage as Watson but that's why you get him reps during the season.  Should have at least been a Gil/Ross type of split this year.


November 25th, 2018 at 1:14 PM ^

Defensive line not deep enough, defensive tackles have been an issue all year, didn’t help that the best DT Solomon has been hurt all year there was zero pressure, so need to recruit better at DT, and offensive play calling was bad. I see another let down like 2016, probably get the rose bowl cuz osu will go playoff now and play Washington Probably lose cuz this team was motivated to play osu and win big ten and go playoff, rose bowl is not what they wanted. Even tho a win would be big in rose bowl end 11-2 is a good year but not great

Goldenrod Mandude

November 25th, 2018 at 9:29 AM ^

It’s like this...OSU has superior talent and depth at this point and when they get up for a game like UM that talent shows up. When they play lesser teams every other week of the season they do just enough to win. It’s a team filed with individual talent that play like individuals every game but UM. Then they play the game of their lives - every year for the past 20 years. I fucking hate it, but that’s the deal. They are just better now. Urban is a decent coach, but he is the best recruiter if talent on the planet. Columbus is ok but it’s not that cool. All he does is let his superior talent go be athletes. 

Red is Blue

November 26th, 2018 at 10:36 AM ^

In the last ten years, Michigan has won at least double digits in 4 seasons.  Three of those were under Harbaugh. 

Overall record in last ten years 81-46 (63.8% wins).  Harbaugh 38-13 (74.5% wins).  Others 43-33 (56.6% wins)

Last four years have seen significant improvement over the previous six years.


November 25th, 2018 at 8:18 AM ^

0-4 against osu; I think next season is make or break for Harbaugh. I’m not saying he’ll get fired, but if he can’t get this team a B1G and bear osu, I think he’ll step down. Again, I have no evidence or anything to suggest this, just a gut feeling. Hopefully next season is our year. Let’s close this season out with a bowl win! 


November 26th, 2018 at 10:06 AM ^

Totally agree. If he wasn't a Michigan Man, he'd be fired for 0-5 vs OSU, but he'll step down for a NFL job if he doesn't win next year. BTW, Michigan's only up by 8 in the 115 game series. A loss next year makes it 7. Don't think the university will let this go on too much longer. 


November 25th, 2018 at 8:28 AM ^

I would guess he gives zero f*&*s, and was just as shell shocked as everyone else. I believe they all thought they would win.. not get run off the field and turned into a laughing stock. But hey he takes responsibility. I'd like to know what that means... I always love that comment. I take full responsibility. I wish someone had followed up with, so what does that mean coach that you take full responsibility, what does that look like?

Blah... remember Bump was 8-2 in his final season, losing 50-14. He thankfully decided to move on. 


November 25th, 2018 at 9:36 AM ^

Agree. We just went back to 1817 as as program.  Actually, we had a great program back then.  If I performed at work like this Staff did yesterday, I would be fired.

Just shut up and try to win at least one Championship... Just one. I'm thinking it will never happen. Just looking at the track record. Onward ... yah. We drank the Koolaid again and this is what we paid for. 


November 25th, 2018 at 9:42 AM ^

You and others are missing a significant aspect to this narrative: Ohio State was ready for a barn burner. The past three games were stink up affairs that could of seen them go 0-3 if a couple plays hadn't gone their way. Instead, they find themselves 10-1 with everything still in front of them, but with their backs against the wall. Everyone is telling them they are going to lose against the big bad Wolverines, and they came out and played their best game of the year. Certainly, we could have done better but between the injuries and the talent gap - the O-line and Haskins really shown through - it didn't happen.