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#pounditWednesday, August 10, 2022

Articles tagged: Michigan Football

Georgia fools Michigan with interesting strategy on opening drive

Georgia against Michigan

Georgia sure did its coaching homework in preparing for their College Football Playoff game against Michigan in the Orange Bowl on Friday.

The Bulldogs went 80 yards on seven plays on their opening drive to score a touchdown and take a 7-0 lead against the Wolverines. They completed three passes to tight end Brock Bowers on the drive, including the touchdown.

Where Georgia’s pregame preparation paid off was on the final two plays. On a 3rd-and-1 at the Michigan 11, Georgia came out of a timeout and did some extreme pre-snap line shifting. That left Michigan’s defensive line confused and out of position as Zamir White converted the first down.

Then on the following play, Georgia broke its huddle, quickly ran to the line, and quickly snapped the ball. They ran a play action and Bowers was wide open for the touchdown.

Michigan’s defense does a lot of pre-snap communication and changes. By shifting on the third-down play, and by breaking the huddle and rushing to snap the ball on the following play, Georgia prevented Michigan from being able to do what they like to do.

Jim Harbaugh wears interesting T-shirt ahead of Michigan playoff game

Jim Harbaugh shirt

Jim Harbaugh was seen wearing a very interesting T-shirt ahead of Michigan’s College Football Playoff game against the Georgia Bulldogs.

Michigan’s offensive line won the Joe Moore Award this year, which is handed out to the best offensive line unit in the country.

As the team was given the award, Harbaugh was seen wearing a T-shirt that said “Run The Damn Ball.”

The shirt is written in Michigan’s block yellow letters, all in caps (it’s made by the site Blue By Ninety). There is no confusing the powerful message.

Michigan’s offensive linemen all wore the shirt on Wednesday:

Was Harbaugh wearing that shirt intentionally because it was a nod to his linemen? Or is it because the shirt is a reflection of the Jim Harbaugh winning philosophy? The philosophy worked against Ohio State this year. Maybe Michigan will follow the words in their game against Georgia. Or maybe they’ll fool Georgia and go pass-heavy.

Harbaugh’s already playing mental games with Kirby Smart.

Georgia fans adopt unique Ohio State tradition ahead of Michigan game

Georgia fans cross out M's on signs

Georgia will spend the next several weeks preparing to face Michigan in the College Football Playoff, and Bulldogs fans are already making some serious changes around campus ahead of the big game.

The UGA Spike Squad, a Georgia student fan group, has adopted a long-standing Ohio State tradition ahead of the Bulldogs’ game against Michigan. Like Ohio State students do before facing their biggest rival, the Georgia fans have been going around campus crossing out the letter “M” with red X’s. You can see a few of the many examples below:

Ohio State fans started the tradition years ago. Even some local high schools and elementary schools cross out M’s each year before the Buckeyes take on Michigan.

The Georgia Spike Squad told The Columbus Dispatch that they reached out to “The Block O,” Ohio State’s student section fan group, to run the idea by them.

“We reached out to The Block O (the OSU student section) to see if we could do this without stepping on any toes because we understand this is a big tradition,” the Spike Squad said.

It’s no surprise Ohio State fans were fine with it. Most of them will be huge Georgia fans through New Year’s Eve, as they would love to see Michigan go down — especially after the comment Jim Harbaugh made about their coach. Their interests are very much aligned, so their traditions might as well be, too.

College football writer hammered over Jim Harbaugh tweet

Jim Harbaugh walking

Michigan secured a spot in the College Football Playoff with a blowout win over Iowa on Saturday night. The victory was another huge one for Jim Harbaugh’s legacy, as he proved for a second straight week that he can, in fact, win important games. Now, even writers who ripped the coach before are trying to jump on the bandwagon.

Toward the end of Michigan’s 42-3 dismantling of Iowa, USA Today’s Dan Wolken called it “absolute insanity” that people thought Harbaugh should be fired a year ago.

By sending that tweet, Wolken overlooked one of the most basic rules of the internet — people don’t forget.

In one of his columns last year, Wolken wrote that the Harbaugh era in Ann Arbor is “doomed to mediocrity.” He said Harbaugh and Michigan needed to formulate a plan to part ways before things got ugly. People were more than happy to call Wolken out over the hypocrisy.

Wolken certainly wasn’t the only one who felt Harbaugh had to go. It’s just surprising to see him openly admit that he was among the, as he called them, insane.

Harbaugh has now finally defeated Ohio State and led Michigan to the College Football Playoff. Between the on-field success and recent gesture he made off of it, his popularity at Michigan is through the roof.

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 scores 42 points in special tribute to late Tate Myre

Michigan fans

The Michigan football team had a very fateful final point total in their win over Iowa on Saturday in the Big Ten Championship Game.

The Wolverines wore patches for their game against Iowa to honor the late Tate Myre. The patches were in yellow and blue and had Myre’s initials and football number (42) on them.

Myre was a star football player at Oxford High School in Michigan. He died at the age of 16 trying to stop the perpetrator of a fatal shooting at his high school. There were four hearts on the patch representing those who died in the school shooting.

Michigan dedicated their game to Myre and then went out and scored 42 points in a 42-3 win over the Hawkeyes. Their point total matched Myre’s number.

“I think God was with us,” coach Jim Harbaugh said.

Members of the Myre family also served as honorary captains for the game. For at least a few hours, Michigan football may have given the grieving family something nice to celebrate.

Jim Harbaugh has awesome gesture with his Michigan bonuses

Jim Harbaugh in sunglasses

Jim Harbaugh’s approval rating at Michigan is through the roof coming off the team’s huge win over Ohio State, and fans will likely appreciate the coach even more when they hear about the classy decision he has made with his contract.

Harbaugh signed a four-year contract extension with Michigan back in January that includes far less guaranteed money than the top coaches in college football. His guaranteed money for 2021 is $4 million, but he has the ability to earn roughly $4 million more in incentives. Even if he earns all of that money, however, Harbaugh is not planning to keep it.

Harbaugh announced this week that he will give any bonus money he earns back to Michigan’s athletic department. He wants to help alleviate some of the hardships that were caused last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

You could argue that $4 million is more than enough money, but Harbaugh is under no obligation to give anything back. He’s making less than half of what the highest-paid coaches in the country are earning this year despite Michigan being one of the best teams in the country and on the verge of a College Football Playoff berth.

Harbaugh went 11-8 from 2019-2020, which is one of the reasons he took a pay cut. He has proven this season that he probably deserves to be paid more, but he’s giving money back. Between that gesture and the awesome quote he delivered after beating Ohio State, Harbaugh has never been more popular among Wolverines fans.

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 OC Josh Gattis commits all-time dumb move

Josh Gattis claps

Michigan got its first football win over rival Ohio State in 10 years, and they’re acting like they want to go another 10 years before they get another win in the series.

First you had Jim Harbaugh taking a dig at Ryan Day after Michigan overpowered Ohio State 42-27 in the Big House on Saturday. Two days later, it was Josh Gattis talking trash.

Gattis, 37, is in his third season as Michigan’s offensive coordinator. He talked Monday on the “Inside Michigan Football” radio show and shared some insight regarding the team’s strategy against the Buckeyes.

Gattis said Michigan viewed Ohio State as a “finesse team” and “not a tough team.”

“They’re a good team. They’re a finesse team, they’re not a tough team,” Gattis said, via the Detroit News’ Angelique S. Chengelis. “And we knew that going into the game that we can out-physical them, we can out-tough and that was going to be the key to the game, and that’s what we prepared for all year long.”

Gattis went even further, saying that Michigan saw Oregon overpower Ohio State and committed to the same gameplan.

“You saw earlier this year in the game they lost to Oregon, Oregon was the most physical team on the field,” Gattis said. “That’s the way they lost, and we committed to that recipe, and it paid off.”

Look, nothing Gattis said is incorrect. Anyone watching the game could see that Michigan just bullied Ohio State and pushed them around. We wrote about it. We gave credit to Gattis for his gameplan. He, Harbaugh, and Michigan’s players and coaches deserve all the credit for the win.

But you have to wonder what in the heck Gattis was thinking by saying that out loud? That’s the type of thing you keep to yourself and leave unsaid.

It was already widely recognized and known that Michigan pushed around the less physical Buckeyes. Did Gattis feel so strongly that he had to make sure people recognized his genius by saying it publicly?

Gattis essentially called Michigan’s biggest rival “soft.” That’s the kind of quote that stings, that sticks in your head, and that motivates you.

Between what Harbaugh did, and what Gattis has said, Ohio State has all the bulletin-board material they need for next year. They are going to be motivated to hang 100 points on Michigan next season, and the Wolverines can thank Harbaugh — and especially Gattis — for that.

H/T Eleven Warriors

Photo: Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis watches warmups before a game against Northern Illinois at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.

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: 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.