The Michigan Wolverines under Jim Harbaugh and staff have been dominant in one phase of the game since his arrival, the defense.
What has been lacking, and for the better part of a decade, is an effective offensive line.
So what did Jim Harbaugh do I’m the offseason? He went and got one of the best in the business, Ed Warinner.
Ed Warinner knows what it takes to win at a high level, just ask any Ohio State fan. He was part of the National Championship team and spent just one season away from this Michigan/Ohio State rivalry.
This weekend’s win over Michigan State proved not only that this team has a solid line, but also that they can establish the run game against the best rush defense in the nation. Warinner has been able to quickly turn it around for the offensive line after an abysmal period of many years. It really is what has held back recent teams, who also had solid defenses, from surviving the Big Ten schedule and getting to Indianapolis.
Of course, credit for yesterday’s win doesn’t rest solely with the guys up front. Karan Higdon put on a show against the Spartans with 144 yards on 34 carries. This Michigan State defense was holding opponents to 62.3 yards per game as the top ranked rush defense in the county.
His performance was due to the offensive blocking well all day, plus some well-timed cuts. Higdon’s success didn’t happen because he found an opening each play, but because the line was disciplined and kept to their game plan—grinding down the Spartan defense.
The schedule looked brutal back when we were in August, but after seven straight wins it’s becoming more manageable. This team is heading to the bye week to get healthy, and to prepare for Penn State.
I know some have been hesitant to say this, but these last two wins over ranked teams prove Michigan is back and ready to make some noise in November.