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#pounditMonday, November 29, 2021

College Football

Jim Harbaugh takes clear shot at Ryan Day after rivalry win

Jim Harbaugh in sunglasses

Jim Harbaugh on Saturday got his first win in six tries against Ohio State and wasted little time settling scores.

Michigan had beaten the Buckeyes just twice in the last 20 years coming into Saturday, and Harbaugh had a personal record of 0-5 against his rivals. That had become a very popular talking point among Ohio State faithful, and the school has embraced it everywhere you look.

When Harbaugh was asked about that trash talking in recent years after Saturday’s win, he did not hold back. He made a remark about some people being born on third and thinking they’ve hit a triple.

This is widely being viewed as a shot at Buckeyes coach Ryan Day, who inherited the program from Urban Meyer. Day was never previously a head coach but got to take over for Meyer, who had Ohio State running as a national powerhouse and a top destination for recruits. Harbaugh was 0-4 against Meyer but is now 1-1 against Day.

There appears to be a mutual dislike between the two men, as Day and Harbaugh sparred on a head coaches teleconference in 2020. That led Day to make a bold statement to his team. Saturday’s game marked the first meeting of the two schools since then.

The quote is reminiscent of the Harbaugh that first arrived at Michigan back in 2015. That Harbaugh was happy to lob missiles at rivals over anything and everything. Those comments had become less frequent in recent seasons as criticism of his lack of titles mounted. He’s at his best when he’s like this, so Michigan fans should be very encouraged to see these kinds of comments again.

Photo: Nov 16, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh reacts during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan pushed around Ohio State like Jim Harbaugh dreamed about

Jim Harbaugh walking

Michigan finally broke through under Jim Harbaugh and beat Ohio State 42-27 to improve to 11-1 and win the Big Ten East. The win couldn’t have gone any better than if Harbaugh scripted it.

Michigan beat Ohio State by overpowering them in the exact way that Harbaugh loves. The Wolverines rushed for 297 yards and six touchdowns and absolutely pushed around Ohio State at the line of scrimmage. Team leader Hassan Haskins carried the team with 169 yards and five touchdowns.

This was classic Harbaugh ball, dominating at the line of scrimmage and controlling the game. In past years, and even in the loss to Michigan State, Michigan blew leads late. Not this time.

The Wolverines had four possessions in the second half and scored touchdowns on each one. Even with under five minutes left and Ohio State knowing Michigan would be running the ball, they still couldn’t stop the Wolverines. Michigan ran Haskins five straight times while leading 35-27 and scored a touchdown to effectively seal the game. It was the second drive of the half where they ran the ball every play of the possession and scored a touchdown.

Michigan still completed passes when they needed to and kept Ohio State somewhat off balance, going 14/20 for 190 yards in the passing game. But when it came down to it, they beat Ohio State by running them to death and making big stops on defense. Haskins and his five touchdowns and Aidan Hutchinson and his three sacks were the stars of the game.

Winning the game is one thing. But beating Ohio State by pushing them around shows that Harbaugh and his vision for success are not outdated.

Photo: Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh watches warmups before a game against Northern Illinois at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.

Michigan coaches had amazing reaction to huge win

Jim Harbaugh in a Michigan hat

Michigan’s coaches showed just how much the win over rival Ohio State on Saturday meant to them and the program with the way they celebrated.

The Wolverines defeated the Buckeyes 42-27 to improve to 11-1 and claim their first win over Ohio State under Jim Harbaugh. The fans waited 10 years to get the win and celebrated like mad when it happened. They stormed the field and packed The Big House (video here).

Wolverines coaches were just like the fans after the win. Several reporters in the press box tweeted that Michigan’s coaches who were coaching from a booth in the press box were heard yelling “let’s f—ing go!” as they ran to the elevator to go down to the field and celebrate.

Everyone associated with the Michigan program was elated. The win was a long time coming.

Better yet, the win came when both teams entered the game 10-1, making the stakes as high as possible. It was two heavyweights in the ring, and Michigan prevailed with a knockout this time. That was enough reason for coaches and fans to celebrate and have a great time.

Photo: Aug 31, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh before the game against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Video: Michigan fans storm the field after beating Ohio State

Michigan fans celebrate

Michigan’s win over Ohio State was a euphoric moment for fans — so much so that they engaged in a rare field-storm.

Wolverines fans spilled onto the field at Michigan Stadium at the end of their team’s 42-27 victory on Saturday. Many Michigan players remained on the field to celebrate with them, prompting quite the scene.

The scene was pretty much bedlam as thousands of Michigan fans streamed onto the field.

Scenes like this are typically reserved for huge upsets or dramatic endings. While Michigan was an eight-point underdog here, it couldn’t be classified as an enormous shock. It was simply the result of a team that has consistently been on the wrong side of one of college football’s biggest rivalries finally getting one for the first time since 2011. It also ensured that the Wolverines will make their first trip to the Big Ten Championship game next Saturday.

The most surprising thing about this? It wasn’t just fans who were on the field here.

Video: Juwan Howard congratulates Jim Harbaugh on field

Juwan Howard congratulates Jim harbaugh

The Michigan Wolverines finally did it and beat their rival Ohio State Buckeyes 42-27 on Saturday to win the Big Ten East and clinch their first appearance in the conference’s championship game.

It was a mad party in Ann Arbor after the win, with fans rushing the field and players celebrating in the middle of Michigan Stadium. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh enjoyed himself after the win and even was met by Wolverines basketball coach Juwan Howard, who congratulated him on the field.

Here is video of the meeting:

That’s very cool and shows just how tight the members of the school’s athletic department are.

The win was absolutely enormous for Michigan. Both teams were 10-1 entering the game. A spot in the conference title game and a shot at making the College Football Playoff was on the line. Michigan was 0-5 against Ohio State under Harbaugh. And they prevailed. Howard knows just how much the win means to the school.

Video: Cameron Brown rips Roman Wilson’s helmet off

cameron brown helmet

Saturday’s Ohio State-Michigan game was one of the most heated the rivalry has seen in years, and things boiled over a bit in the third quarter.

Things really got started with about six minutes left in the third quarter after the Wolverines ran a first and goal play. Ohio State cornerback Cameron Brown and Michigan wide receiver Roman Wilson got into a bit of a scuffle away from the play. Brown totally lost his cool and ripped Wilson’s helmet off, sparking a near-fight on the field between the two teams.

Brown was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for his actions. Michigan had already had the ball at the Ohio State two-yard line, so the actual penalty didn’t matter all that much, and the Wolverines scored a touchdown on the ensuing play.

Brown has to keep his composure here. The Buckeyes were already down 21-13 at the time and were struggling on defense, which undoubtedly fueled the frustration. It didn’t help that tensions were already high based on what happened in the tunnel at halftime.

The Buckeyes are not used to being pushed around. Michigan was doing that on Saturday with the stakes higher than ever, and Ohio State simply was not handling it well.

New favorite reportedly emerges for USC head coach job

Matt Campbell

The USC Trojans have had months to come up with a list of candidates for their vacant head coaching position. It appears that they may be ready to land on a favorite.

Iowa State coach Matt Campbell should be considered the current favorite for the USC job, according to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports. Trojans athletic director Mike Bohm is known to covet Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell, but getting Fickell to leave the Midwest with the Bearcats in the College Football Playoff race may prove impossible.

Campbell appears to be a leading option, particularly with no clear West Coast candidate available. Campbell has been credited for his work with the Cyclones, and has even drawn NFL interest. USC badly needs stability, a culture reset, and recruiting wins. Campbell looks capable of providing all three.

That said, it certainly sounds like Fickell would have been the No. 1 choice. Unfortunately for the Trojans, he’s been pretty steadfast in his lack of interest.

Video: Michigan and Ohio State in tunnel confrontation at halftime

Ohio State Michigan tunnel

The rivalry between Michigan and Ohio State is one of the most heated in all of sports, and that nearly boiled over at halftime of Saturday’s game.

Video from the Michigan Stadium tunnel showed players from both teams getting involved in a halftime confrontation. While nothing serious happened, coaches had to make sure the players remained separated, and the game referees even had to get involved. Some staffers even seemed to be exchanging words.

It wasn’t clear what sparked this, but that’s how it goes sometimes with both teams in close proximity as they head to their locker rooms. It’s also worth noting that tempers were flaring on the field, as Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson and Michigan’s Vincent Gray had an on-field confrontation late in the half.

Add in the fact that both teams count down to this game all year and you have a recipe for heightened emotions.

The Wolverines, who have not beaten Ohio State since 2011, carried a 14-13 lead into halftime.

Video: Garrett Wilson ‘Mossed’ Michigan on epic touchdown catch

Garrett Wilson catch

Ohio State wide receiver Garrett Wilson had a moment he won’t soon forget in Saturday’s game against rival Michigan.

Wilson went up and victimized Michigan cornerback Vincent Gray, leaping to catch a perfect jump ball from C.J. Stroud on what would definitely qualify as getting “Mossed.”

Gray did not do a lot wrong here. Wilson just made a better play against good defense.

Wilson’s catch gave Ohio State its first lead of the game after a quick start by the Wolverines. The slow start was definitely jarring from the Buckeyes’ perspective, but the offense really got started on this drive. Plays like Wilson’s can have a motivational aspect to them as well, so it may end up being just what Ohio State needed.

Michigan State facing major player shortage due to flu outbreak

Mel Tucker before a game

The Michigan State Spartans are dealing with a major problem ahead of their regular season finale against Penn State.

Numerous Spartans players on both sides of the ball are dealing with a flu outbreak, according to multiple reports. The Action Network’s Brett McMurphy, who first reported the story, said Michigan State could be down as many as eight starters.

ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg added further description to the scope of the outbreak. He reported that offensive linemen, defensive linemen, and quarterbacks have all been impacted. The list of players showing symptoms has grown during the week, with some players planning to try to play through their illness.

This is definitely not how Michigan State envisioned the end of the season going, particularly after their game last week. The Spartans can still finish 10-2 and put themselves in contention for a New Year’s Six game.

Photo: Sep 3, 2021; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Michigan State Spartans head coach Mel Tucker walks on the field during warmups before the game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports