Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh: “The Way It Feels Now, This is Just the Beginning”

By George Eisner on November 27, 2021 at 5:04 pm

For Jim Harbaugh, the sixth time is the charm.

Sitting contently with the media following his team's first win over Ohio State in a decade, a calm and collected Jim Harbaugh did not mince words when speaking on what motivated Michigan to a 42-27 home victory over the Buckeyes.

When asked about things that have been said or that have gone on in the past related to the rivalry — and how that affected Michigan going into the game — Harbaugh relayed, "probably the things you're thinking of are the same things I'm thinking of. Just move on with humble hearts, take the high road... definitely there was stuff that people said that spurred us on even more."

Then he added, "sometimes people that are standing on third base think they hit a triple."

It is hard to interpret that as anything other than a massive throwing of shade at Ryan Day. Given all the dumping on Michigan that Ohio State has done in the past 10 years — coupled with the bad blood over last year's cancellation — it's not hard to see why Harbaugh felt he had to get that jab in at the end of that press conference.

However, that confidence was consistent throughout Harbaugh's presser, and certainly carried over from the preparation he organized for the team going back to as early as the start of the season. Brimming with more optimism at the end of November than perhaps ever before, Harbaugh firmly stated, "the way it feels now, this is just the beginning."

“Just everything about the team — it’s just always felt like the beginning. Accomplish one goal and the next. Winning each championship and onto the Big Ten next week.”

Where preparing the game-plan was concerned, Harbaugh stressed that keeping his team cool and collected in the face of not winning every snap on defense would be key to holding spirits high. Michigan's head coach understood that maintaining a level-head in the face of Ohio State's juggernaut offense would be crucial to staying in the game.

"Players, coaches, defense... [I told them] don't be discouraged when they [Ohio State] make plays, when they move the ball, score touchdowns, they're going to," Harbaugh said. "It's got to be the offense's job to respond, and our offense did."

“Sometimes, People STanding on Third Base Think They Hit a Triple.”– Jim Harbaugh, On Michigan's bulletin board material

But Michigan's head coach was quick to credit his assistants as well, particularly defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald. "We knew [the approach] was gonna be really good at the beginning of the week as [Macdonald] was putting it in... really effective."

"The amount of stops today — especially those two right after the half — was really good disguise," Harbaugh continued. "Really good packages that made them doubt what they were seeing. They were seeing one thing, but they weren't really seeing that, and it was really effective."

Where Michigan's rushing attack was concerned, Harbaugh kept his thoughts on the Wolverines' line of scrimmage domination brief, but just as confident as the rest of his comments. He believed Michigan was ready to run on Ohio State, “back in spring ball.”

While Harbaugh's football career spans multiple levels and stages of football, this was undoubtedly one of the most significant wins in his life.

“Feels like the best one, sure does!”

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