Iowa Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 13th, 2016 at 2:03 AM



There are portions of my audio where I couldn’t hear because of the reverberations of Iowa folks celebrating, so I pieced together what I could.

What was happening with the offense tonight? Seemed like it was misfiring.

“Not enough—we didn’t make enough plays to extend drives and get first downs. Missed some deep throws. Close. Just…you know, give Iowa credit. They tackled, they blocked, they played a very good football game. So, congratulate them and move on.”

How about your defense? They stood tall pretty much the whole game, it seemed like. Stribling had a big interception. Talk about what

“Yeah, they—I thought they played well most of the ballgame and it was a low-scoring, hard-fought football game.”

Did you think with the facemask, I didn’t see it, but did you see it from your field position?

“I didn’t see it either.”

Did you get any explanation?


What did you tell your team after this game?

“Big things and every little thing isn’t going to go our team’s way or anybody’s way. Every little thing doesn’t always go your way, and we’ll make—to make it a win you’ve got to make it that way. We didn’t do enough to make it that way tonight.”

[After THE JUMP: more words]

Do you still feel like this team’s goal are in front of them?


Did Wilton’s shoulder affect him late in the game?

“It might have a little bit. I thought he threw a good ball there to Amara, the last one, and then he threw a real good one to Jehu as well, the one that got intercepted—or got taken away. And then the last one, I thought Amara’s hand was getting held down, but every little thing doesn’t go your way. I thought he played well tonight.”

There were two Power 5 teams that went down today at home [Clemson and Washington]. How hard is it in your mind [something about going undefeated]?

“It’s difficult but not insurmountable.”

You don’t know much about this team after a loss, this season in particular. How do you think that they’ll respond?

“We’re all going to do our jobs. I mean, that’s part of my job. I’m not the only one, but a big part of my job is to make sure we respond.”

Did anything they did defensively surprise you today?

“They—there were some wrinkles. They played well. They played hard. They set the edge extremely well. They tackled well. Had good coverage.”

The Devin Bush targeting call: did you think that was targeting?

“I did not, no.”

In the running game, did you guys feel like you’d have a little more success against the running game? Especially on first down, they got some pretty big gains.

“Yeah, we would’ve liked to have more production there.”

When they lose the way they lost last week, [I can’t hear most of the question on my recording but it was about whether Michigan lost focus]?

“We just didn’t get it done tonight. We didn’t do enough to make it go our way.”



November 14th, 2016 at 9:29 AM ^

The team suffered a tough loss and he's upset about it. But, as a great coach he's not going to throw anyone under the bus. Some guys had bad games and it showed, but it's not solely on them, it's a team game.

Trust me Harbaugh knows what went wrong and behind closed doors he's letting people know and they are working on the mistakes and will get them fixed. Airing it in the public does not help.

Sten Carlson

November 13th, 2016 at 12:37 PM ^

Plays were there to be made, but weren't. By not making those plays, Michigan gave a nothing-to-lose team hope and momentum. Is anyone surprised that a veteran coaching staff like Iowa's watched Michigan film and identified the OL and LB's a the weaknesses, and schemed to exploit them? I'm sure not.

All that being said, all the flukey plays, calls, no-calls, overturns, etc. we still had the lead until the last second of the game. It was there for the taking, but as coach said, “Not enough—we didn’t make enough plays to extend drives and get first downs."

Pretty simple really.


November 13th, 2016 at 12:38 PM ^

Very poor game for Michigan. Sloppy blocking all night by the OL against ome of the most mediocre and implosion ready defenses in the land. It doomed the offense. Then stupid penalties. Iowa hung on and hung on and stayed close until the end. Harbaugh returns to Kinnick for first time in 31 years only to see the ball split the uprights again as time runs out.
Play this same game same field one hundred time and Michigan defenestrates Iowa 97 times.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


November 13th, 2016 at 8:08 PM ^

I agree there's no explanation (apart from all the factors that actually contributed, as noted by posters).  It's just a wrinkle in spacetime, I think, one that UM trips over time and again.  At least since 1969, when I started following UM football, we (well, UM teams) have repeatedly played down to the skill level of our opponents, thereby affording them the opportunity to use greater emotion and determination to beat us.  (WD, can you tell us how many times in the past 47 years a UM team ranked in the top 10 has been upset by an unranked team, especially a conference opponent?)

I recall one year (don't know which) when Michigan had risen to #1 in the polls just before the Staee game.  It was in Ann Arbor and on national TV.  A homemade banner high in the north end zone read, "No. One vs. No One."  An omen, and not a good one.  We lost.

I couldn't predict Iowa would have won on Saturday, but I've had a bad feeling about it since I looked at the 2016 schedule for the first time.  (WD, what's our W-L record at Iowa, especially when we're ranked higher than UI is?)  We do not play well against teams widely perceived to pose little threat.

Of course, that's most teams.  But there's always a snake in the turf somewhere, and too often it seems to have been black and gold.


November 13th, 2016 at 12:52 PM ^

Sucks that we lost, but life isn't so shabby when your only loss results in the opposing fans rushing the field and the opposing coach to cry from sheer joy in the post-game interview... all from a team that went to the Rose Bowl last year.  Keep this in mind when you crab people are calling for heads to roll.


November 13th, 2016 at 1:04 PM ^

The elephant in the room:

De'Veon Smith - 4.9 yards per carry this season

Chris Evans - 7.8 ypc

Ty Isaac - 6.0 ypc

Karan Higdon - 7.2 ypc

Yesterday, Smith rushed 12 times for 28 yards (2.3 ypc).  Evans carried it eight times for 52 yards (6.5 ypc).  Isaac carried it once for seven yards and a TD.  Higdon had 3 for -3 yards.

I love Smith; no one fights harder for yardage, and he's a terrific pass blocker.  He seems like a classic Harbaugh player.  Certainly, he should see the field.  But I'm afraid we're giving him too many carries.  I can't help thinking our run game has a ceiling when Smith is the primary back. 

We talk about riding the "hot hand," but that seems to only be true for decidng which back will complement Smith.  It seems to be a given that he'll get the most carries, at least if the game is close.   I'm not sure if that gives us the best chance to win, though. 




November 13th, 2016 at 1:32 PM ^

He had 4 Carries for 11 Yards.

I will bitch about that 2nd and 9 Pepcat play until the end of time (or at least, the end of this week).

Why the Harbuah and/or Drevno thought, "Hmmm....we need to pick up at least 4 or 5 yards here. Let's run Jabril again --- he's racked up 10 yards on 3 carries so far. Even better, we'll keep a hurt Speight on the field, so it's 10 on 11, and rely on all-world-receiving but mediocre-as-heck-blocker Jake Butt to key the play. Sound good?


November 13th, 2016 at 1:42 PM ^

I have to assume there's a wrinkle they're saving for OSU. Probably a Peppers pass from that formation. The staff isn't dumb and I'm sure they're well aware of the fact that everyone sprints at Peppers as soon as he gets the ball. We used that tendancy against MSU to get that awesome reverse to McDoom that went for 40ish. I would be surprised if Peppers doesn't pass from that package in Columbus. 


November 13th, 2016 at 1:52 PM ^

For a time when we most need it- like the end of the game yesterday. My comment isn't directed at you, I'm just frustrated with this thought that we are holding plays back for a future game as opposed to when we most need them (i.e. last night). Again not directed at you just a bit disillusioned with our fourth quarter and predictable play calling.

We couldn't stop a run only offense last night. Wait until the two headed monster (Weber and Barrett) of Ohio state shows up, I think we are in real trouble.

Go blue


November 13th, 2016 at 2:08 PM ^

Aren't there more than one wrinkle possible -- one for Iowa, one for OSU? And don't we want to beat Iowa? Up 2 points with 1:30 left, needing one first down to win the game, would have been a good time to use any non-insane "wrinkle" (e.g., no way should Peppers throw his first pass of the year at that point).

Speight should have still been the QB, so the Michigan "pass / run" option would have actually existed. Instead Harbaugh put up a big "HERE COMES A PEPPERS RUN!" sign, Iowa reacted accordingly, and the play got stuffed. A play completely wasted when plays were at an absolute premium.

Just bonkers.


November 14th, 2016 at 8:41 AM ^

But Meyer is no idiot.  He knows that we are likely to use Peppers as a decoy or to throw the ball or to hand off on a reverse.  He will instruct and coach his D to stay in their lanes and maintain their coverages.

The idea of saving gimmick plays for bigger games later in the season is fine with me.  But when we are in a dogfight NOW and need to put a team away NOW, we ought to use them.  

We can always draw up more, Hell, we can even use the threat of a gimmick play that we have shown to set up something counter to it.

All that being said, if we win out, we will have no problems.  The next game is always the biggest.



November 13th, 2016 at 1:44 PM ^

I thought the lack of carries for Evans and Isaac (or maybe moreso the amount of carries going to Deveon) was increasingly baffling as the game went on. Smith wasn't doing anything last night while Evans was consisting getting 5-7 yards and Isaac just didn't appear again after his TD. I have no idea what the thought process was there


November 13th, 2016 at 3:02 PM ^

He simply doesn't have enough burst to hit most holes before they close. I was hoping he'd be enough of a YAC player this would offset but that has not been the case. The safety was a missed block but Smith stopped flat footed to try making a man miss in the end zone. That's unacceptable. You get your nose dirty and plow forward and push for every inch in that situation.


November 13th, 2016 at 3:47 PM ^

Smith is in there because he is the best at pass blocking by far.  For a PA-heavy team like ours, that's a big deal.

So that's the coaches' dilemma . . . sacrifice effective pass blocking for a better run game, or sacrifice a better running game for effective pass blocking.

That's why it's a $12million+ staff, to make these hard decisions.


November 13th, 2016 at 1:21 PM ^

Last night Michigan came in Superflat and the Iowa farm boys were ready to kick some ass. University of Central Florida give us a really hard fight so did Colorado. Wisconsin and Michigan State had us on the ropes. In the Iowa farm boys knocked the f*** out. The defense has been exposed and all of these games to some degree. And we're going to have to play our best month of football to win the Big Ten and get into the playoffs I believe there is a lost somewhere in the next month maybe the next two weeks but it is a good football team I don't believe their National Championship caliber probably top four or five finisher sorry to say that I love you Blue Hail!!!


November 13th, 2016 at 5:33 PM ^

So Wiscy and Sparty had us on the ropes did they. Exactly what games were you actually watching? Your comment is very moronic to say the least. "I believe there is a lost somewhere", the "Iowa farm boys" multiple references and the obvious lack of comprehension as to what you are commenting about is quite asinine. I bet in your neck of the woods the men are men and the sheep are nervous there Cletus.


November 13th, 2016 at 2:16 PM ^

This was the tenth game of Harbaugh's second season. The team has improved so much in such a short time that we allowed ourselves to expect an undefeated season. Now that can't happen. Despite that a Big Ten championship and a national championship are still in the cards. Consider how far this program has come is such a short period of time.

As last night's game demonstrated, these opportunities can disappear in a few difficult seconds. Still for now they are all very real and under the teams control. Let's all chill until we find out the injury situation and see how the team adapts.

There's a lot of football left to play and I plan to enjoy every minute of it.

Go Blue