What Jim Harbaugh said at weekly press conference: Army, MTSU review, players of the game


ANN ARBOR — In his weekly press conference, Michigan (1-0) head coach Jim Harbaugh addressed Saturday’s game against Middle Tennessee State following Sunday’s film review and touched on the challenge ahead with Army (1-0).

Here’s everything U-M’s fifth-year coach had to say at the podium.

On the young tackles (two freshmen started): Ryan Hayes (started at left tackle in place of injured senior Jon Runyan) was our offensive player of the game. Graded out right there with Bredeson, Ruiz, Onwenu… Had some really fine blocks, was good with his hands. Thought Jalen (Mayfield) was also good.”

On Runyan’s return following Hayes’ performance: “Good question. Jon’s arguably our best lineman. We’ll see. Really impressed with Ryan. It’s a meritocracy all the way. Is there a chance to compete at the other tackle spot? Sure. If it bodes well with the team. We learned Ryan Hayes is pretty darn good.”

Post-game thoughts: Two questions we’re asking ourselves. Is what we did when we succeeded good enough to beat the teams on our schedule? And the things we need to work on, was that good enough to beat the teams on our schedule?”

On Army and the schedule ahead: “A top-25 team. Wisconsin played really well. Penn state. Iowa. Michigan State. Ohio State. Indiana. Maryland. Rutgers. Notre Dame plays tonight. There’s a mentality that we have to be at our best as quick as we can and consistently play at that level.”

Defending Army’s offense: “This is something that’s been our mind a long time. Been preparing for it. All of Don’s extra time, now it’s almost every day. Going back to spring practice. Not taking time from preparing for the league games and the opener. But in the extra time. Now we’re preparing all the time”

On the defense: “Thought the secondary was really good. A lot of familiar players there, Metellus, Hawkins did an excellent job, so did J’Marick Woods and the corners, Lavert Hill, Ambry Thomas, and Vincent Gray.”

On the defensive line: “Aidan Hutchinson played really well. Beleive that was his first start. Kwity Paye was also good. Carlo Kemp, as we’ve seen, played really good football.”

Added: “Jordan Glasgow was a standout.”

On Ambry Thomas: “Our defensive player of the game. Everyone was very happy for Ambry. Very inspiring for the ball club.”

On the injuries of WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, LT Jon Runyan, and DT Donovan Jeter: “all three have a chance to play. We’re not sure yet on (DT) Mike DwumFour.”

On the kickers: “Dead even. Moody was one kick ahead. The plan was he would kick the first field goal, and we’ll rotate every field goal.”

On no longer calling plays: “It was still the same focus on knowing what play was being run. I was into it, so it didn’t feel that much different – a little different, but not much.”

On offensive coordinator Josh Gattis’ first time calling plays: “I thought it was really good. Practically flawless. Clear, clean concise game. I was impressed.”

Evaluation of quarterbacks: “It was good. They both did really well. Shea was able to make some big plays, and make some big chunk-yardage throws. Ball handling is being addressed. Same with Dylan, made some big plays. Both ran the offense very efficiently.”

“They were accurate, ran the offense well. Shea was really good against the blitz. Defenses will do that. They ran a multitude of blitzes. Shea, for the most part, had a really clean game, in terms of getting the right protections. Same with Dylan.”

Running backs: “Perfect game in protection. Every back was 100-percent on their pickups. Harbaugh: Zach Charbonnet had 9 pickups in protection. I don’t think we’ve had a back get 9 pickups in a game since we’ve been here. It was easy for him — he just handled it, not even a misstep. I’ve been around pro backs that don’t understand protections as well as the freshman did in this game.”

“Tru, Christian, Ben had some nice pickups, too. As a group, they were perfect.”

Charbonnet: “When he decides to hit the hole, he’s through it and out the other end.”

Captains: “(leadership) is really good. There are five guys: Khaleke Hudson, Ben Bredeson, Shea Patterson, Carlo Kemp, and Josh Metellus. When they talk, people listen.”

On Giles Jackson’s return ability: “Really good. One thing I talked to him about was squeezing the ball, and he did that and more. He’s doing kick returns and got in a little bit at receiver. He’ll grow as you see him succeeding at the role you’ve given him.”

Comments are closed for this post.