"I've been thinking a lot about this over the last four, five, six weeks," Harbaugh said after No. 4 Michigan's win. "Because I am the football coach doesn't mean I can dictate to people what they believe. I support our guys. I think this is something, it's not going away, it's gonna keep happening."
Jim Harbaugh didn't know ahead of time about the pregame display of unity and strength by members of the football team, but hearing his postgame comments, it's clear his players have his full support. That became even more important yesterday, when racist propaganda was posted around campus, prompting a denouncement of the fliers from the University and a protest at the Fishbowl.
I know how our readers feel about getting politics mixed with their sports, so I'll keep this brief, though as Harbaugh said, this isn't something that's going away. As a human being, I was horrified to see what appeared on campus yesterday; as a Michigan grad, I could not be more proud of the actions and statements from the players, the support and response from the program, and the swift action taken by many on campus. I hope we can all agree that hate has no home at U-M. For far more nuanced thoughts on this, I strongly encourage you to read these pieces by MTV News's Jane Coaston, a Michigan grad, and SBNation's Spencer Hall.
And now, let's see that ref take a football to the face again.
[Hit THE JUMP for the Penn State game in GIFs.]
As always, click the links/stills to open each GIF in a lightbox, and don't forget to vote for your favorite at the end of the post.
Harbaugh sigh of relief.
Harbaugh fist pump.
Harbaugh can't even.
Harbaugh working the JUGS machine.
Harbaugh disputes spot.
Don Brown is mildly peeved.
Don Brown teaching with aggression.
De'Veon Smith TD.
Fake Peppers jet, Smith rampage.
Jourdan Lewis nukes fourth-down screen.
Wormley's first-drive sack.
Saquon Barkley's day, basically.
Darboh YAC, part one.
Darboh YAC, part two.
Chris Evans draw.
Delano Hill impressive open-field tackle.
LaVert Hill's late fumble recovery.
Khalid Hill meets pylon cam.
Hill's TD plunge.
Very effective Peppers blitz.
Perry hurdles cord.
Stribling fade PBU.
I haven't featured a MMB GIF yet this year, and I love the way this one comes to life.
9. Quick Burst
I was very impressed viewing this live when I thought Maurice Hurst had simply worked his way around the center. Then BryMac pointed out he'd also looped around the guard.
I be like dang.
Ow. Good thing Jourdan Lewis has a sense of humor.
Big Toe's big hit wasn't the only blow Lewis absorbed on Saturday—he also took some friendly fire celebrating Mike McCray's interception.
Can't blame Peppers for that one.
7. Timing Is Everything
The still is great on its own; the GIF adds another level when Malik Golden sees the scoreboard and, should you choose to interpret it this way, sheepishly puts his hand down.
6. Punt Returns Are Events Now
I mean, good lord, the acceleration by Peppers.
As many people pointed out on Twitter, Devin Bush Jr. laid a thunderous block to clean up pursuit, and another blocker I couldn't identify actually had a two-for-one.
You're going to have a good time with Peppers in the open field and a pile of prone defenders in his wake.
5. Jumpman-Worthy Celebration
Be like Mike, they said.
Mo Hurst listened.
4. Wiltnard Speightinson
This whole sequence is delightful for a host of reasons, not the least of which is Devin Asiasi sending a defensive back into orbit as Speight dives for the sticks.
3. In The Face
Point-first, too. For the second time: ow.
2. Penn State's Offense, The GIF
I could watch this all day. So could Trace McSorley and Mike Gesicki, by the looks of it.
FRAMES OF THE GAME: THIS GUY
Jim Harbaugh's reaction to James Franklin kicking a 21-yard field goal down 28-0—after a timeout, no less—is so pitch-perfect it required two GIFs. Part one:
In a beautiful moment, ESPN's scoreboard chyron changed PSU's score to 3 as James Franklin was writing something in his notebook. Or, perhaps, he was not writing at all. This next GIF, inspired by a chat with Brian—so, you know, blame him for this—is a reference to The Big Lebowski and not safe for both work and those with more delicate sensibilities. What I'm saying is it contains a sketch of a comically oversized penis. You have been forewarned.
It had to be done.