Harbaugh Assesses Maryland, Explains Why 'Confidence is Not Real High on a Monday'

Harbaugh Assesses Maryland, Explains Why 'Confidence is Not Real High on a Monday'

Football

Harbaugh Assesses Maryland, Explains Why 'Confidence is Not Real High on a Monday'

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A lot of pundits thought that this Maryland team that Michigan is readying to face would have folded by now, given its offseason turmoil.

First, there was the death of Jordan McNair, then the questions surrounding it — which has resulted in the firing of multiple staff members and has seen head coach D.J. Durkin being placed on administrative leave while his culpability continues to be investigated.

Durkin still hasn’t returned to the team, nor has he been fired at this juncture. But offensive coordinator Matt Canada — who has been highly regarded in coaching circles, going back to his stint with Wisconsin as the OC/QB coach in 2012 — has had the Terrapins moving in the right direction.

Many didn’t expect the Terps to beat Texas given the uncertainty, yet they did. They posterized Bowling Green and Minnesota with nearly 30 point spreads, but did lose to Temple at home.

When Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh looks at this Maryland team, he doesn’t see the team expected to lose to his Wolverines by double-digits, according to the various Vegas spreads. He sees the nation’s 20th-ranked defense (18th rushing, 52nd passing) and 12th-rated offensive rushing attack and — as he said of the Terps back in 2015 — he’s on ‘high alert.’

In describing what he’s seen on film thus far, Harbaugh elaborated on the weekly process that goes into preparing for a team. While his confidence isn’t too high at the moment, he says he hopes that, with adequate preparation, he and his team will get there.

“Very highly ranked defense,” Harbaugh said. “A lot of speed on defense. Able to put points on the board offensively. Physical team. Very active in the secondary. A lot of team speed in their secondary. A lot of good things.

“Mondays –your confidence is not real high on a Monday. As you look at your opponent and watch what they do well. That’s why you watch the tape and put your game plan in. Get a little bit more on Tuesday. A little bit more on Wednesday. Hopefully, by Thursday or Friday, we’ll think we have a chance. That’s usually the way your level of confidence grows as you prepare. As you put your plan together in practice.

“Right now, see a lot of things that are really good in the Maryland team.”

The game will be homecoming for the Wolverines, something that Harbaugh is, however, quite excited for.

“It’s one of the great words in the English language,” Harbaugh said. “A homecoming. A homecoming back, whether it’s a reunion or a get together of a family. That’s one of the top words in the English language.”

Michigan and Maryland will kick off at Noon EST on Saturday at Michigan Stadium.

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