If you pay attention to college football, then you know what week it is: rivalry week.
No. 4 Michigan travels to Columbus for The Game against No. 10 Ohio State. The stakes are higher than normal as the winner earns a berth in the Big Ten Championship against Northwestern.
Ahead of the pivotal week of practice, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh spoke to the media for his weekly Monday press conference.
Here’s the best from what he said.
On Jake Moody:
“Very talented, very good leg. He’s very productive, strong leg, thought he could be a real effective kickoff player for us right away. He’s progressed real well on field goals, too.
On Chase Winovich’s injury & play:
“”Best possible outcome for both Berkeley Edwards and Chase Winovich. Catscan and x-rays both negative for Berkeley and Chase. Most valuable player level. He’s been great this year.”
On the defense:
“So many players are playing their best football in their college career. Consistently playing really well each week. A lot of things I like — how the secondary plays, that front seven. Consistently great with their fits; they tackle really well, they adjust really well. I could go on.”
On Shea Patterson:
“How Shea Patterson handles things is terrific. He does what’s needed, what’s expected. You need him to make a play — he makes it. Whether it’s throwing, running, not turning a bad play into a worse play. He’s got an energy for the game, love his focus, love his intensity.”
On the Revenge Tour:
“Players do things for themselves emotionally. It’s a good one — anger is a powerful motivator. I don’t know exactly why — it’s proven to be.
On Ohio State’s passing attack:
“It’s really good. Really good quarterback, can throw it all over the field. Quarterback does a great job getting it to multiple people in the passing game.”
On what the Ohio State rivalry means to him:
“What it’s always meant. The big game. It’s even got a name: The Game.”
On stepping back and realizing he’s had fun:
“Yeah, we’re having fun; working hard and having fun doing it.”
On the pressure going into this game:
“I always look at pressure as life giving energy … fired up about it, excited to see our guys compete.”
On what excites him most about this year’s game:
On Andrew Stueber’s start at right tackle:
“Steubs had a good game … moved well … we were all pleased with how he played.”
On Juwann Bushell-Beatty:
“No update … but he should be good.”
On not beating Ohio State:
“I expect our team to be very motivated. I know I am.”
On learning from past losses:
“Start with our goal: our goal is to win the next game. When you win, you want to come back Monday and have that same feel: that happiness, motivation. If you lose a game, you come back and make darn sure that doesn’t happen again.”
On playing in Columbus:
“Sure. Competition is the best part. This opponent has a great record and so do we. I expect the competition to be at the highest level.”
On guaranteeing a win over Ohio State while playing for Michigan:
“I can’t really remember what it was that made me say that.”
On how he amps up Shea Patterson, if any concern about his nerves:
“He’s been all you can from a demeanor standpoint. I expect it to be the same this game.”
On Urban Meyer saying there’s a mutual respect in the rivalry:
On if a loss to Ohio State would change how he looks at the team:
“We’re working hard to make darn sure we do everything possible to win this football game.”