Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh: “Feels Great to Sing ‘The Victors’ in Columbus,” Wolverine Dominance “Wasn't Anything New”

By George Eisner on November 26, 2022 at 6:23 pm

For the second year in a row, Jim Harbaugh took the podium after The Game with confidence and pride in his team for their results on the field against Ohio State.

After a 45-23 victory in favor of Michigan that saw the Wolverines run away with the lead in the fourth quarter, Harbaugh expressed that he "couldn't be more proud" of his players for their performance in the rivalry game.

"I knew the team was focused and determined as they had been all season. This is a locker room of heroes," he said. "It was a great team win."

Harbaugh was determined to laud credit onto his players and staff rather than focus on the opposition — a stark contrast from his press conference a season ago after Michigan's first win against the Buckeyes in a decade.

Later on, Harbaugh expressed joy over what it meant to sing Michigan's fight song in Columbus, as the program had not beaten Ohio State on the road since the 2000 season – a game that ended 38-26 in favor of the Wolverines.

"it feels great to sing 'The Victors' in Columbus," Harbaugh said. "Our team earned it in every way."

Shockingly, despite the Wolverines preferring to win through consistent run production this season, Michigan's ground attack amassed only 10 team rushing yards in the first half. When asked about having to go to the air and depart early from the way the Wolverines typically prefer conducting their offense, Harbaugh calmly replied, "we knew that we could make those kind of plays," referencing J.J. McCarthy's 69 and 75-yard touchdown passes to Cornelius Johnson in the second quarter.

After crediting Johnson for helping open up the Wolverines' passing offense, Harbaugh clarified his confidence that the Michigan rushing attack would make itself apparent in the later stages of the contest.

"One good thing about the running game is it can wear on you," Harbaugh explained. "That's why it usually gets better as the game goes on."

Indeed, his team proved him correct. Michigan closed out the fourth quarter with enormous 75 and 85-yard rushing touchdowns from Donovan Edwards to put the game entirely out of reach from Ohio State down the stretch.

When asked if Michigan's dominance surprised him relative to what the Wolverines had shown on film previously, Harbaugh stated, "it wasn't anything new – saved some things. Had some nice things — emptied the playbook in a lot of ways. Got the deep shots. Saved some things for this game, but overall, no."

“It feels great to sing 'The Victors' in Columbus. Our team earned it in every way.”– Jim Harbaugh, On Michigan's First Win at Ohio Stadium in Over Two Decades

Relative to his defense, Harbaugh emphasized that winning the game would largely revolve around halting Ohio State on third down and forcing the Buckeyes into punting situations. "We felt any kind of was going to be gold," Harbaugh asserted. "We weren't going to mess up any stop with any kind of penalty... those stops were like gold to us coming into this game. It was great that we got so many."

Asked what the difference now was between Michigan and Ohio State, Harbaugh retorted, "I don't know, that seems like a lot of layers to some onion."

Additionally, when followed up on if he feels the Wolverines have gained control of the rivalry with the Buckeyes, Harbaugh said, "our team really paid the price, put in all the work... you sweat every other game to get to this game and this opportunity."

"We were thankful to be where we were, right where we wanted to be," Harbaugh said. "Then came down here — players were all focused and determined to win the game."

In tandem with bailing on FOX sideline reporter Tom Rinaldi after the game to force him into a solo interview with McCarthy, Harbaugh did all he could throughout the presser to keep the spotlight of victory on his assistants and the members of his football team.

"Just can't say enough about the players and coaches. They're incredible," he said.

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