Jim Harbaugh woke up on the right side of the bed. In fact, the head coach has been walking around whistling and skipping now that the weight of the world is no longer on his shoulders.
Since he was hired in 2015, Jim Harbaugh has not held up his end of the bargain. That bargain between Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverine community entails him winning “The Game.” Harbaugh came into Saturday’s matchup 0-5 against the Ohio State Buckeyes in his tenure at Michigan.
It probably would’ve been 0-6 if not for COVID-19 canceling last year’s game. It was the first time in 103 seasons that Michigan and Ohio State didn’t match up.
The Wolverines were underdogs entering Saturday’s matchup, and many believed it was a forgone conclusion that Ohio State would capture it’s ninth consecutive win in the series, and 18th in the last 20. But the Wolverines and a raucous 111,156 fans braved blistery weather conditions and snow to witness Harbaugh and the “Maize and Blue” get that proverbial monkey off their back with an emphatic 42-27 win over its archrival.
Harbaugh right now pic.twitter.com/hWYF5gWivi
— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) November 27, 2021
“It was really artistic to watch,” said ESPN colege football guru Paul Finebaum, who has been a leading critic of Jim Harbaugh’s failure to defeat Ohio State among other perennially-ranked blue bloods.”I found myself cheering for Jim Harbaugh and Michigan.”
Hassan Haskins And Aidan Hutchinson Have A Day For The Ages
Michigan is built on toughness in the trenches and physicality in the run game. With the elements playing a factor, Harbaugh leaned on running back Hassan Haskins, who tallied 169 rushing yards and five touchdowns. His downhill running and physicality overwhelmed the Buckeyes, who allowed four consecutive scoring drives in the second half. Ohio State’s poor tackling cost them in their 35-28 loss to Oregon earlier in the season and reared its ugly head again on Saturday.
Haskins has done it all today 🔥 pic.twitter.com/nUbicwuCAb
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 27, 2021
Edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson channeled his inner Chase Winowich (former Wolverine edge rusher), tallying seven tackles, 3.0 sacks and 15 QB pressures while harassing Buckeyes quarterback CJ Stroud all afternoon. He also set the team record for sacks in a season with 13.
Iowa Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz watched Hutchinson closely this past weekend as his team prepares to face the sack master in the Big Ten Championship Game.
Kirk Ferentz on Aidan Hutchinson: "No. 97 is an outstanding player."
Compared him to Howie Long, John Randall and J.J. Watt.
"He's elusive, he's strong and has a tremendous motor."
— Clayton Sayfie (@CSayf23) November 28, 2021
Harbaugh Had Some Parting Shots For Ryan Day And Ohio State
The folks in Columbus often refer to Michigan as “TTUN” or “That Team Up North.” A term coined by the great Woody Hayes when he led the program in Columbus. Coming in as heavy underdogs, the Wolverines definitely basked in their feat, which has been a long time coming.
Harbaugh referenced his team’s heart and will.
“The will was very strong on our team. The way it feels now, it feels like the beginning.”
Then in typical Harbaugh fashion, he quipped about Ryan Day walking into a ready-made situation after he took over from Urban Meyer following the 2018 season.
Harbaugh refuses to call out any of the bulletin board material said. But does say: “Sometimes people stand on third base and think they hit a triple.” pic.twitter.com/D6n7Mr2dzN
— Isaiah Hole (@isaiahhole) November 27, 2021
It’s only one win, but for Harbaugh it had to feel like a 10-year winning streak over the Buckeyes, who have manhandled his Wolverines since he arrived in Ann Arbor. The controversial 30-27 double-overtime loss in 2016 at “The Shoe” in Columbus was the only single-digit defeat.
But all that’s forgotten for the time being in Ann Arbor. Harbaugh can finally breathe and focus on the next goal, which is a national championship in the future. According to the Allstate Playoff Predictor, 11-1 Michigan has a 72 percent chance to make CFP.
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