Press Conference Transcript
JIM HARBAUGH: I'd like to thank the Outback Bowl, too. A good experience. Congratulations to South Carolina on their victory.
Q. Did you feel it slipping away at any time, or did they get better as the game went along?
JIM HARBAUGH: I think they did get better. I think probably both those things. They got better as the game went on, no doubt, and made plays to win the football game. We didn't get the knockout punch when we needed it. We didn't take advantage of the opportunities that were there.
Q. Can you put your finger on the defense was having a dominant performance. What did you see in terms of why it changed?
JIM HARBAUGH: They made a really good throw, really good catch on the touchdown. Made another spectacular throw and catch on the second touchdown pass. Yeah, they made they executed well, really well, and then our errors, starting with the really starting with the fumble by Sean McKeon, which was not Sean McKeon's fault, that was our fault. That was a coaching error. We had the wrong personnel in there, and I should have called time out.
And then the other miscues we had.
Q. Pat Kugler, was he banged up a little bit?
JIM HARBAUGH: Yeah, Pat had gotten rolled up on his ankle and gave it a go and was doing fine, but just felt like it was too much to overcome.
Q. When did you know about that Ben Bredeson would be unable to play?
JIM HARBAUGH: About three weeks ago.
Q. What kind of adjustments did South Carolina's offense make in the second half? JIM HARBAUGH: I think that might be a better question for Will (Muschamp). But they hit the inside seam fade. The quarterback threw a really nice ball in the red zone. Were able to create some big plays.
Q. You mentioned the coaching error; were there others that you wished you could have back? Were you happy with the play calling today?
JIM HARBAUGH: Me, I always think that just making the play when you've got the other team down, a chance to grow your lead, take advantage of those things. But we weren't able to do that. Kind of let them hang around and they took advantage of it.
Q. At the beginning of the year you talked about the guys getting experience. Do you feel like they got experience in a game like this that they can build off of for next year? JIM HARBAUGH: Yeah, there will be things to build on. I thought our guys played extremely hard. I thought they really played their guts out, and so did South Carolina. But yeah, we'll another year of the pursuit of excellence. That's the way we'll be looking at it.
Q. Coach, you've had a quarterback starter at Michigan going into every season so far. How heavily do bowl performances weigh into those at the beginning of next year?
JIM HARBAUGH: I don't know. I really I don't know how much that would weigh into it.
Q. How would you evaluate Brandon’s (Peters) performance today?
JIM HARBAUGH: You know, there's some really good, and there's a few I know he'd like to have back. But he was battling just like the rest of the guys. There was some air there, a little too much at the wrong time.
Q. Was Khalid Hill unable to play?
JIM HARBAUGH: Yeah, Khalid, he had an injury during bowl prep.
Q. You guys have lost three straight; can you put a finger on if there's been one thing? What do you think about the reason why overall?
JIM HARBAUGH: Yeah, one thing, it's being able to just kind of sustain the momentum, keep the momentum, and then get the knockout punch. That would be what my thought would be right now.
Q. With the opportunities that have opened up, is there a possibility this is the very last game you'll coach Michigan?
JIM HARBAUGH: No.
Q. Did South Carolina do anything on either side of the ball that you didn't expect today?
JIM HARBAUGH: No, I can't think of something different.