Michigan junior safety Josh Metellus spoke with The Wolverine Lounge in an exclusive interview. This story is one of two that will focus on the conversation with the potential All-Big Ten safety.
ANN ARBOR — Away from the media-packed lobby of Schembechler Hall Wednesday, Josh Metellus spoke confidently about Michigan’s season.
At 6-1 (4-0), the Wolverines made it through the first leg of a three-game gauntlet in a 38-13 drubbing of No. 23 Wisconsin. U-M walked out of that game with something it hadn’t experienced since 2016 — a win over a ranked opponent. Not only that, but a blowout of a Top 25 foe.
There’s no rest for the
wicked revenge tours, though, as the Wolverines take their tour bus to East Lansing for a date with its No. 24-ranked in-state rival, Michigan State. Following a bye week, Michigan will then face Penn State, currently ranked No. 18 in the AP Poll.
None of that affects Metellus’ confidence in those matchups.
“I want to win all these games coming up,” Metellus said in the exclusive. “I feel like we have the potential to make these games not even close.”
Not so fast?
History doesn’t agree with the junior, though, as Michigan’s undefeated (at the time) 2016 team traveled to East Lansing to play a 3-9 Spartans team and only won by nine — along with two free points at the end.
On top of that, we know the narratives … Harbaugh is 1-2 vs. Mark Dantonio, hasn’t beaten a rival since that same 2016 matchup (Unless you still consider Minnesota a rivalry, rather than simply a trophy game), Harbaugh’s been out-coached, and the Spartans are the premier football program in the state.
Metellus — and this team as a whole — are throwing narratives out the window and leaving the past there.
They’ve got goals to accomplish.
“I just want to win a Big Ten, everything builds off that,” Metellus said. “I just want to win. That’s the main goal: win, win, win. Win a Big Ten, get that ring, and we’ll go from there.”
It’s personal for Metellus, U-M
With all that being said, as bold as it is realistic, Metellus shed some light on what’s motivating this red-hot U-M team heading into East Lansing.
Sometimes, there is such a thing as too much confidence … but what’s building up Metellus’ approaching Saturday’s matchup?
It’s simple: revenge.
“I take every Big Ten game personal … lose or win, it affects the season. I didn’t grow up around the rivalry, I grew up around Florida rivalries. A rivalry’s a rivalry. When I first time came up here and I saw the green, I just had that feeling and knew it was going to be something I had to deal with these four years.
“This game is intense, it’s personal. They beat us last year, they got the trophy. Every day we walk to the locker room, the trophy spot’s empty because they have it. We just have to prove ourselves.”
We’ll see how that translates to the field Saturday at noon EST in East Lansing.