Winovich says Ohio State game was a “mirage”


What would a Michigan football fan have liked to hear during the post-awards show press conference?

Further affirmation that coach Jim Harbaugh is committed to the Wolverines? He says he’s already addressed it and wouldn’t discuss it farther.

An update on who besides junior defensive end Rashan Gary might be headed to the NFL? Harbaugh flatly says he won’t be making those announcements.

Harbaugh’s thoughts on Urban Meyer? No comment.

The big questions weren’t answered on Sunday night in the Crisler media room.

Peach Bowl CEO Gary Stokan had a lot of nice things to say about Michigan and AD Warde Manuel and Harbaugh had a lot of nice things to say about the Peach Bowl.

It’s sold out.


Then they played a three-minute video that I believe the Peach Bowl uses to pitch itself.

The players get good food at the Peach Bowl!

Mercedes-Benz Stadium is world-class!

Well, excellent.

If you ask Harbaugh, they’re excited to potentially get that 11th win, but his face during that video said something a little different.

Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh was less than talkative at a press conference Tuesday night. Photo by Eric Coughlin

Win or lose in the Peach Bowl, this season’s legacy was defined by one game, and everyone knows it. Maybe Harbaugh was drifting back to that gray November Saturday, thinking about what might have been instead of focusing on Peach Bowl marketing material.

Either that or he’s thinking about eating a nice big steak with a glass of milk while wearing khakis because Jim Harbaugh.

But especially with the recent decommit of five-star safety Daxton Hill, the Michigan football program seems to be in dire need of some good news.

Senior defensive end Chase Winovich, always an affable character, fresh off winning team MVP, seemed tired of the dour mood surrounding the program. Although saying that he wants quarterback Shea Patterson to “make the best decision for Shea Patterson,” Winovich seems to be trying to convince his roommate to come back for 2019, and just thinking about it led Winovich to deliver the most forceful quote of the press conference:

“To any recruit or any potential guy that sees what happened in the Ohio State game and is persuaded against coming to Michigan because of that, I would say, that alone is a mirage, and they should not be fooled. What we’ve built here and what we’re continuing to build here is a powerhouse. That’s the Michigan that I’m leaving, a Michigan that’s headed in a trajectory that the sky is the limit. Not to quote Buzz Lightyear, but it’s infinity and beyond what we’re working with here. We didn’t have our best game that day. I don’t think anybody would say that. It wasn’t us. It happened. It is what it is. We’re going to look it in the face, but way worse than it being Ohio State was just that we had a bad day and they capitalized on it. We’re coming back stronger, and we’re going to remember this for next year.”

From left to right, junior guard Ben Bredeson, junior quarterback Shea Patterson and redshirt senior defensive end Chase Winovich at a press conference on Tuesday night. Photo by Eric Coughlin

Hollow words after a crushing defeat? Maybe. Plus, Winovich won’t be in Ann Arbor next year, but if even a vague echo of his enthusiasm is, the Wolverines might just stand a chance.

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