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Jim Harbaugh Notre Dame post-game press conference transcript

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Everything Michigan’s coach said after the game

Michigan v Notre Dame Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Michigan Wolverines lost to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish last night 24-17.

After the game head coach Jim Harbaugh spoke with the media at his post-game presser.

Here is the transcript.

Q. Were you disappointed with the performance?

COACH HARBAUGH: Yeah, we would have liked to come out victorious. Congratulations to Notre Dame. Thought they played a very good ballgame.

Q. Not many explosive plays offensively. What wasn’t happening?

COACH HARBAUGH: Just a few without a doubt. What was happening? Yeah, we didn’t make enough explosive plays. Probably didn’t run the ball as well as we would like. Credit to Notre Dame’s defense.

Q. On Ambry’s 99 yarder, could you talk about what you saw in terms of key blocks and what Ambry did in that run?

COACH HARBAUGH: It was a middle return. He was able to break some arm tackles, and then show some real heart when he got into the open field. Was able to finish off that, gave us a great spark.

Q. Was there any communication issues between Shea and the offensive line? Looked like maybe it was a snap (indiscernible). Were they hurrying, were they off balance? Not on the same page?

COACH HARBAUGH: No, I thought they were. I didn’t see any communication issues between Shea and the offensive line.

Q. The way your team came out, Notre Dame made some big plays on third down (indiscernible) right out of the box. Do you feel like your team came out slow to try to ease its way in or something, even on offense -- did you feel that way at all?

COACH HARBAUGH: No, I didn’t feel like our team was trying to ease their way into the game.

Q. How about the defense, third down? They hit some huge plays. Were they picking on you guys? What do you think?

COACH HARBAUGH: Third down conversions were about the same for both teams. Definitely some big penalties that kept drives alive and were converted into touchdowns.

Q. What’s missing from your program now? (Inaudible)?

COACH HARBAUGH: Just onward, just good old-fashioned resolve. There’s more we can do. This could be a very good football team. We have confidence in them.

Q. How would you evaluate Shea tonight?

COACH HARBAUGH: I thought he competed well. I thought he was doing the things that we were asking him to do. And for a first time out, with his new team, I thought he did a good job.

Q. What are your biggest takeaways tonight about your team?

COACH HARBAUGH: I don’t know that I have all the biggest takeaways. I thought our guys, I thought they played fast. Thought they competed hard. There’s improvements to be made. Mistakes were made. But I thought they fought hard.

Q. You gave up 21 points in the first half, cut it down to three in the second half. I think they had only 69 yards for the offense for Notre Dame. What changed for your defense, what got better, what improved?

COACH HARBAUGH: I thought we were stopping the run well. Brandon Wimbush made some big plays throughout the game, running the ball, getting out of the pocket. Credit to him. He played a heck of a ballgame. Thought we limited that in the second half.

Q. Can you talk about how Dylan played when he got in there?

COACH HARBAUGH: I thought Dylan played real well. Showed some real moxie in there and ran the offense, made some good throws. Coming in off the bench like that, I thought it was -- I thought he (inaudible) himself really well.

Q. When did you make that decision, to go with him over Brandon? Was it this week (indiscernible)?

COACH HARBAUGH: Yeah, it was this week. Brandon in practice on a roll-out had tweaked his knee. And he didn’t take any reps since Tuesday. So it wasn’t 100 percent for today. So elevated Dylan to second string.

Q. Brandon Watson, big interception, then pinning the ball down in the first quarter on the punt. Could you talk about Brandon’s play and what he brought tonight?

COACH HARBAUGH: Yeah, I thought that was a spectacular play that Brandon made. Like I said, there’s a good play to be pointed out throughout the team and a lot of good things to build on. But didn’t come out the way we wanted it. But it’s not the end for us; it’s the beginning for us. That’s the way we’re approaching it.

I was really impressed by the play Brandon made, the way he played all night.

Q. Pass protection issues (indiscernible) so much what we saw last year. Is that (indiscernible) Kansas come along or not what you expected?

COACH HARBAUGH: Yeah, I guess on that one inside blitz that we didn’t pick up -- it was good pressure that their front was bringing the entire night. Some we blocked, yeah. Could be better, yes. And work to improve it.

Q. How much overall offensively was still limited on (inaudible) quarterback, the new spots, or are you guys still working through all that?

COACH HARBAUGH: Yeah, sure. Sure. The guys really prepared well for this ballgame. Not the outcome we anticipated or wanted. But just gotta dig deep. Make no excuses. Give credit to Notre Dame and we’ll move on to the next week.

Q. Where are you in terms of finding that identity on your offense? Are you close? Is it going to take a little while in your mind to bring the identity that you want for this offense?

COACH HARBAUGH: Where are we at? We’re at the beginning.

Q. With all the excitement of a new season, does this feel like a setback for you guys?

COACH HARBAUGH: It’s a big opening game. Did not come out the way we wanted. But we’re going to dig down.

Q. Does it feel like a setback, though?

COACH HARBAUGH: It’s a beginning. It’s a beginning for us. We’re not treating it like the end.

Q. Despite everything that kind of went sideways at times in this game, you had the ball with a chance to tie the game late when you wanted it. What does it say about your team that you were in that position (inaudible)?

COACH HARBAUGH: Fought hard. They did well. There’s things to build on.

Q. Talk about Will Hart, and any update on Brad Robbins?

COACH HARBAUGH: Brad is going to be out for a while. He did have a back surgery.

Q. (Inaudible)?

COACH HARBAUGH: Yeah, he pinned them in, had a great punt, down, I think, about the 3-, 4-yard line. Had some other good punts. Things to build on there. We will.