- Chase Winovich and Berkley Edwards injury updates
- Jake Moody's record-breaking day
- Michigan plays Ohio State next week. That's a big game!
- The end of the first half, Michigan's struggles early-on
[After THE JUMP: Some football talk]
Coach Harbaugh, talk about the big record-breaking (Jake) Moody here today. Set a Michigan record. What’s that mean to you and this university, closing out this phenomenal season you had here?
“Well, first I’ll say — just to give you an update on Berkley Edwards. Berkley, everything looked good when he left the stadium. He did have a concussion. He had a pretty good-sized concussion. And, looked good when he left here, but he was taken to the hospital for precautions, so we’ll have later updates there. But was respondent, talking and moving. So, felt good that the doctors have it well under control. Prayers up for him.
“Jake Moody, what a performance. You talk about 139 years of Michigan football, just set a record. Six field goals, that was a great job. He learned pregame that it looked like he had to get ready. And he was good. There’s no facial expression change, no body language change. Just went about his business of getting ready. And then same when he was in there kicking. He was making them. No expression. Cool customer — good thing for a kicker. But, really big day for Jake Moody. And Will Hart had a couple, at least, really good holds as well. Cam Cheesman — that whole battery — was working good. Every single field goal was big.”
Jim, Chase Winovich, any update on him?
“Yeah, things are progressing well with Chase. X-rays were negative here, at the stadium. And took him to the hospital as well, for further test, CAT scan, etcetera. And those came out negative. So, I think we’re in a good place.”
And then, what did you see on the play just before the half? Looked like they went to spot the ball, Indiana kid might’ve kicked it or something. Did you have any information on that?
“Yeah, not a great one. I asked them — they kicked the ball. And the response, from the umpire, was he didn’t mean to. So I further asked, that doesn’t seem like a judgement call. The ball is either kicked by one of their players or not, in my opinion. So, we’ll wait to — but that was the response. That he didn’t mean to. Had he meant to, that would’ve been.”
Jim, the red zone, what was it that led to so many field goals today?
“Well, the team moved the ball good. Eight out of 11 scoring drives. And yeah, we were — all six field goals resulted from us being stopped in the red zone.”
Jim, just wanted to clarify on Chase. Was it a shoulder or a head, and do you know what your expectations are for him at Ohio State yet?
“Well, just to tell you that the x-rays were negative and CAT scan was negative as well. Won’t go into what body part it was.”
You guys had some pretty big games here at the Big House this year. Can you sum up what the energy was like between the team and the crowd here this year?
“Yeah. It was really good. Got great home support. Wonn all of our home games. I thought it got more supportive as we win every single game. So it was neat. They came up with a few things. Some new things, too. Some of those lights that they were doing, the songs they sing, etcetera. But, tremendous support.”
Jim, with what’s looming next week, was this kind of a difficult game just to get through? You of course want to try to be healthy, but just get past Indiana. And, do you feel like your team now is ready for Ohio State?
“Yeah, we knew what kind of game this was gonnna beb. The kind of game it always is when we play Indiana. They do a great job, and we’ve had close games with them every time we play them. Two overtime games and two, basically, 10-point — one 10-point, one 11-point game. I thought they did a heck of a jobb. Mike DeBord did a really good job today. I thought his plan was really good. And our guys were just totally into it. Totally locked in and totally focused. Playing as hard as they could, as fast as they could, as long as they could. And, just really — just fighting the whole game. Really proud of our team. We’re in a playoff mode, which, that’s our mindset right now. Playoff wins are big. Against Big Ten teams in late November, huge. Really proud of our team. Thought our guys really played hard, tough and left it out there on the field. Defensively, Devinn Bush had a huge game. Think he had 11 tackles. And Tyree Kinnel is up there. Nine or 10 tackles. Rashan (Gary), nine or 10 tackles. Guys were really playing hard.”
First time you’ve been down at the half in a while. Can you talk about, in particular, what your defense did better in the second half to really hold them down?
“They did a good job in the first half. We basically knew what kinda game it was gonna be. Really understood it at the half, and made the adjustments. Don (Brown) made some great calls as well. They did a good job. Figured out what they were doing and then made the adjustments in the second half.”
Jim, with Jake Moody, a true freshman … do you take time to talk to him a bit? And also, just talk about mentally, what he had to accomplish today
“Yeah, it’s just a great accomplishment. He set a record in a program as good as Michigan, that’s been around for 139 years playing football, that’s a huge accomplishment. Just, as a true freshman, it was great. It was — like I said, his demeanor didn’t warrant anything. Didn’t change at all. So, it didn’t look like he needed a pep talk or a Snickers bar or anything. Just, get warmed up and go out there. Didn’t hesitate to give him the chance to do it. And he just kept coming through.”
Jim, when did your focus shift to Ohio State, or when does it? And can you give some early thoughts on that game and everything on the line?
“Yeah. All those things. Pretty quick, it will. Enjoy this win, this win with our team. These moments. Then shift to Ohio State.”
Coach, it’s been now 32 straight years you guys have beaten Indiana. Record set back by Bo (Schembechler). It’s a big day, honoring Bo, 12 years ago. What’s that mean to you, going through your day, just, Bo set this record 31 years ago and now to continue it for 32 years going straight now. What’s that mean to you? Record set by Bo and now you’re continuing going through
“Yeah, there was so much on the line, in so many regards. Senior Day, guys playing in their last game at Michigan Stadium. Everything that’s — implications of needing to win the game. In terms of, Big Ten championship, which, Bo — meant a lot to Bo. And all of us. And Jon Falk as our honorary captain. There’s a lot of things motivating the team today.”
Why the move to (Andrew) Stueber at right tackle?
“Juwann (Bushell-Beatty) came out of the last game. Was working through something and tried hard to go. But felt like Stueber was more — would be more effective. And, hopefully Juwann can get back to 100 percent next week.”
And going into the Ohio State game, do you go in with Jake as your kicker?
“We’ll see. We’ll see this week.”
Next week will be the second time in the last three years that Ohio State-Michigan is a top-10 matchup with playoff implications on the line. Do you feel like that’s living up to the expectations that were set for you when you got here? What does it mean to you to have the rivalry be that kind of nationally relevant game?
“Yeah, we’re happy to be in a position — and we’ll do what we do. And that’s get ready for it. And prepare. And expect our team will be really fired up to play. Do what they have been doing every week of this season. Which is playing as hard as they can, as fast as they can, playing as long as they can, playing hard, playing their best, playing for Michigan. That’s what this team has been doing.”
Do you feel personally this is kinda what you were expected to do when you came back here?
“I don’t really think about that. Peeling back the onion, you know. Peeling back the layers of the onion type of question. Just, proud of our guys. Proud of where they played today. And now, onto the next game. Onto the big game. Onto the championship game. Onward.”
Jim, that final drive in the first half, what happened there? You guys didn’t get the points, and the clock ran out
“Yeah, you saw what happened. We were driving good and we used our last timeout. About the 28-30 second mark. And then it’s third-and-1. We ran the ball, got the first down, had our second play already called during the timeout. Went to a throw we thought we could hit (Sean) McKeon and get him in the end zone, get him out of bounds, at least. If he didn’t get in the end zone, thought he could get out of bounds. Good play, made a great play on him. Made a great tackle, in the field of play. Clock was moving, so we called to clock the ball to kill it. Kill the clock. There seemed to be some problems getting the ball back in. Whether that was us not giving the ball to the official quick enough, or it seemed that they kicked the ball. I’ll have to look at that. That’s what happened.”
Jim, you mentioned earlier, playoff mode. Every game’s a playoff. Has that been that way since Week 2 for you guys?
“I don’t know exactly when that seemed to kick in, but, been around for a while. Really the nature of college football. At least the way the Big Ten is, for sure when the Big Ten season starts.”
And are you optimistic about Chase next week, or you don’t know yet?