What Western Michigan is Saying About This Week's Matchup

shea patterson michigan quarterback

What Western Michigan is Saying About This Week's Matchup

Football

What Western Michigan is Saying About This Week's Matchup

After a rough first game of the season, Michigan is looking to rebound against Western Michigan at their home opener. The team is getting some flak for losing to a ranked opponent in No. 8 Notre Dame last week and many are calling for Jim Harbaugh to lose his job, but he isn’t going anywhere.

Against Western, the Wolverines are looking to get their first win of the season and coming off a 55-42 loss to Syracuse, Western is too. Both teams will be fighting hard for their first victory of the season, and this game has some background as former Michigan wide receiver Drake Harris transferred to Western this season.

When talking to Patrick Nothaft of Mlive, Harris said “I’m just excited to be able to play in the Big House again. I’m going to be playing against a lot of my former teammates and former coaches, so it’ll be fun.

“It’s like going back to grade school when you’re playing against your friends out there. I’m just excited mostly and looking to build on what we did last week as an offense.”

Harris played at Michigan from 2015 to 2017, finishing with nine catches for 60 yards in his career in Ann Arbor. Since he was with the team, he knows what the wide receivers are going up against in David Long and Lavert Hill. Harris said, “I know how they play because I was with them for a couple years. I talked to coach Lester and the receivers about what their strengths are. I’m excited to play against them. They’re two of the best in the country — the best duo in the country, probably — so it’ll be fun.”

Western Michigan head coach Tim Lester had a lot to say to Patrick Nothaft of Mlive about the Wolverines this week, first about Michigan running back Karan Higdon. “They’re big up front, and Karan Higdon is a great running back. I recruited him and offered him first, then Michigan offered him, and I lost him at Syracuse, but he’s a great kid — a 4.0 (GPA) kid out of high school — and he runs hard.”

Lester did get a tip from his friend Clark Lea, Notre Dame Defensive Coordinator on how Michigan is on offense. Lester said, “He was super complimentary about how good (Michigan was). He really studied a lot because he didn’t know what he was going to get. They could be under center, they could be in 21 personnel (2 RBs, 1 TE, 2 WRs), 22 personnel (2 RBs, 2 TEs, 1 WR), or they could be in the spread because (quarterback) Shea Patterson is more comfortable in the spread.”

Lester also praised Michigan Defensive Coordinator, Don Brown, saying “Don Brown is probably the guy I respect most in coaching as far as defensive coordinators go. Their schemes are solid, their eye discipline is off-the-charts good. You’re just looking for any air in the defense, and they don’t allow you a lot.

“Their defense is special. We watched them all summer, and it reminded me of some of the great defenses we’ve seen playing against Clemson, when they won the national championship, and Florida State the year they won the national championship. They both had defenses those years that were different as far as their speed and the way they run to the ball.”

Michigan plays Western at noon on Saturday, Sept. 8 in Ann Arbor as both teams look for their first win.

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