Michigan did its job last week by defeating SMU 45-20 at home.
Jim Harbaugh’s weekly press conference commenced inside Schembechler Hall on Monday afternoon. This one is different than the last two, as Big Ten play awaits the Wolverines on Saturday, rather than another weak non-conference foe.
Ahead of Saturday’s home game against Nebraska, Harbaugh shared his thoughts on his team’s performance so far and the preparation going into the first week of conference play.
On Karan Higdon and Chris Evans: “Chris is working something new, and Karan was already working through something. Day-by-day.
On Shea Patterson:?“Seeing the field really well, making accurate throws on-time. Seeing good protection for the most part. Receivers across the board are getting separation and getting open.”
On winning a Big Ten Championship:?“Very motivated. Daily, weekly, yearly.”
On preparing for Nebraska without knowing its starting quarterback:?”You have to prepare for both (quarterbacks). I’ve seen a very physical team with speed and athleticism. Going through their schemes — they already have a lot put in.”
Running backs past Tru Wilson:?Said redshirt freshman O’Maury Samuels at No. 4 and freshman Hassan Haskins at No. 5.
Haskins:?“He’s playing both (offense and defense). He’s working with the linebackers … For now he’s playing offense, maybe he ends up playing both.”
On tight end Zach Gentry:?Really blocking well. Really becoming a complete player. False starts, he needs to be better at. But physically, he’s really excelling. The only times you can say there was an exception to that is when he blocked the wrong assignment. Very close to being a complete player.”
On center Cesar Ruiz:?“Developing well as a center. Personality-wise, he’s a well-liked guy. Coaches like him … he’s got a lot of energy, good to be around.”
On Nebraska head coach Scott Frost:?“I have a lot of respect for Scott. I have a lot of mutual friends through our Stanford connections. I’m really impressed with what he’s done as a coach. He’s really one of the bright coaches in our professions.”
On how many of Michigan’s 13 penalties were legit:?“I couldn’t give you the exact number that were legit and weren’t. Definitely some things we have to clean up – false start … hitting guys out of bounds … there was others. We’re waiting for clarification on the targeting (from Big Ten). I’m still not with that one. The ball carrier is moving, the standard of if you just happen to hit helmets … that’s gonna happen a lot, people are going to touch helmets (without the intention of targeting), that happens a lot.”
On Devin Bush:?“Playing at a super-high level in all regards.”
On Quinn Nordin’s field goal against SMU following last week’s miss: “Yeah, they’ve been working on the timing of the kicks – snapper, holder, kicker – it’s great to see that unit and the protection come through when we needed it. Big kick that gave us a three-possession lead.”