Unlike Jim Harbaugh's last Ohio Stadium press conference, there was no defiance Saturday afternoon. There was no fiery rhetoric. There was no talk of being “bitterly disappointed.”
Instead, Harbaugh was somber, almost shell-shocked after watching his No. 4 Wolverines get completely annihilated by Ohio State.
Now the only Michigan coach to start 0–4 against Ohio State, Harbaugh took responsibility for the loss and praised the the Buckeye offense for putting 62 on his defense, which entered the game ranked No. 1 nationally in total defense.
“They played great. In the 3rd quarter, especially, they made a lot of speed plays that got out on the perimeter and got loose,” Harbaugh said following the game. “We also set them up in good field position with a couple of turnovers and of course the blocked punt, which contributed to the score as well.”
Was his team ready for everything Ohio State threw at it?
“Congratulations to them. They played really well.”
“They had several successful plays, no question about it. Especially they had some real speed plays, crossing routes, hurt. Threw the ball downfield well. They did a nice job of throwing and catching those. I thought their protection was really good. We didn’t get the pressure on their quarterback like we wanted to.”
He was right. Michigan's defensive front rarely hurried Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who threw for 318 yards and five touchdowns on the way to breaking two more Big Ten records, and finished the afternoon with no sacks.
“They did a really good job with protection.”
There was plenty of talk of motivation for the next game, and preparing his team for the next game, but for one day at least, Jim Harbaugh didn't have any real answers.
Except for one. When asked if he was aware of the fact that no Ohio State team had ever scored more than 50 points in the series, he had an answer.
“I believe I did, yes. And congratulations to them. They played really well.”