Notebook: Jim Harbaugh's Post-Northwestern Press Conference Remarks

michigan jim harbaugh press conference

Notebook: Jim Harbaugh's Post-Northwestern Press Conference Remarks

Football

Notebook: Jim Harbaugh's Post-Northwestern Press Conference Remarks

EVANSTON, Ill. — Michigan mounted a comeback against Northwestern, having been down 17-0 early in the game, and then pitching a defensive shutout, ultimately winning 20-17 at Ryan Field.

After the game, Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh was ecstatic about how his team battled back, and he shared his thoughts in the post-game press conference.

Read what he had to say below:

  • On the game in general: “A lot of guys really left it out there, played their hearts out. Tested in the ball game and had to show what we were made of. Like what we’re made of — starting with the quarterback. I think he really stepped up big. Took the game into his hands in a lot of ways, there in the second half. Defensively, there’s going to be a lot of people to single out and played great. After the first quarter, our team really, really played tremendous defense. Allowed just over 100 yards in three quarters of football.

    “So, a lot of guys: Donovan Peoples-Jones on punt returns, everything — he was leaving it out there. Josh Uche — some of those speed rushes he had on the edge were huge. Chase Winovich — the entire ball game. Thought Rashan really played gritty.

    “We started getting our hands on some balls there, when we needed to, after the first quarter, in the secondary. Hurrying the quarterback and also the adjustments our coaches made throughout the game, especially after the first quarter and the first half — they were superb, and they were really working. It was a hardworking night on the coaching side.

    “Great to see Quinn Nordin make those field goals. We needed every point we could get. Also Kwity Paye — thought he really stepped up. A bunch of guys — Josh Metellus dug deep. A lot of guys really showed their mettle tonight.”

  • On penalties: “Penalties should be tougher on the road than –? Warde Manuel told me to let him handle that.”
  • On the second half shutout: “Don Brown had some tremendous calls in the game. A couple that really stood out. We got the free runner to the quarterback. That was big, because he was sitting in the pocket, he’s a big guy and he was making some really accurate throws and his receivers were catching balls in tight windows. We started getting our hands on some of those balls in the secondary, applying the pressure and it really helped us. And stopped their running game, too. They played a helluva ball game.”
  • Defensive line depth: “It was really impressive. The guys in the middle — Mone and Lawrence Marshall — and then Dwumfour would come in, and he was really active all night. Chase, I think Chase had one of his better ball games. Just the way he was flying around and hustling all night. Play after play after play. Kwity Paye showed up. As I said, Josh Uche. Two of those speed rushes looked fast and powerful. Aidan Hutchinson got some time as well. I thought the linebackers were running good, making tackles. We missed a couple tackles on the first couple drives, but thought the tackler was really sound the rest of the ballgame.”
  • Team confidence winning a game like this: “Can do a lot. Like I said, we talked about it at halftime — ‘We’re being tested. It’s time to find out what we’re made of! Our guys really responded. They were — in the kind of fashion where nothing — it had to be made by players. Coaches made some tremendous adjustments, but as I said, guys like Shea and Nico stepped up, made a couple tough catches and Karan — I thought he had a heckuva ball game. Guys up front really grinded all night and got it done. It does a lot for a team.”\
  • On the Karan Higdon ‘holding’ penalty:“Yeah, I asked for (an explanation) specifically, so they didn’t come back later and say it was some other player,” Harbaugh said. “Because they called it on 22. They called it on Karan. So I asked the referee, ‘Go ask the side judge, ask who he called it on,’ so there wasn’t some different explanation days from now.

    “So, he came back and he said, ‘It was on the running back — holding the linebacker.’ The whole stadium saw that a linebacker tackled our running back. It was a zone read. Faked it to the running back, their linebacker tackled him and then Shea ran for 28 yards. Then they tacked on 10 yards for holding.

    “It was a phantom call.”

  • Slow offensive start: “I thought they had a good plan. They have a tremendous coaching staff and their players were playing good. They were playing good, we didn’t take the first downs on our first couple possessions and then they made first downs, made drives, scored the ball in the red zone. They had a really good first quarter, both offensively and defensively.”
  • Harbaugh says it will be a game-by-game decision whether to accept instead of defer if the coin toss is won.
  • Defensive adjustments: “Just seeing the ball. Seeing the ball in the air. Don made an adjustment with the coverage. They just continued to dial the blitzes. They did a nice job, they (Northwestern) were prepared. They did a nice job of blocking our twists. We countered that with an adjustment and got home with that two or three times. They were well-prepared coming off of a bye. It’s that kind of staff. Pat Fitzgerald has got a great staff and great coaches. They were prepared. As soon as we saw they were picking up that twist, we went to a different one.”
  • What it tells him about his team, how it battled back: “What you’re made of. Can you did down and continue to execute and execute better than what you did? So yeah, pretty self explanatory. You got the mettle? Got the gravel to win a game on the road under tough circumstances? Proud of our guys.”
  • Road environment: “I think it was great to see our — coming in and out of our tunnel. Showing their support. Go Blue! That’s what I say! Happy flight home!”
  • On Nick Eubanks: “Did I not say him earlier? Nick Eubanks made the big play. The ball was in traffic. Highly contested. Shea threw it on the back shoulder. Probably the only place he could have got it completed. Nick really showed great body control and caught that ball. Gentry as well. He made the big play for us. Both those tight ends did a great job. It was good. We adjusted. We were trying to hit that seam a few times tonight and did. Quarterback was on the money.”
  • Shea’s resilience: “A++.”
  • Difference offensively: “Not really comparing them to weeks before. Like I said, thought Northwestern really did a great job. Defense really called a great game all game long. The players played really well. Our guys found a way to win.”

Contact/Follow @WolverinesWire@isaiahhole

Latest

More WolverinesWire
Home