Jim Harbaugh has completed five seasons in charge of the Michigan Wolverines with consistent but not exciting results. He has amassed a .723 winning percentage with each year ending between eight and 10 wins. Though the maize and blue faithful may be hoping for something more, this is not the time to dwell on the negatives!
With plenty of time to kill during the offseason, join us as we review each of Harbaugh’s 47 wins as head coach of the Michigan Wolverines. While the losses do exist — and are often more memorable than the victories, unfortunately — they are not very fun to relive so I am skipping them because this is supposed to be a happy exercise!
Setting the stage: 2-1 (0-0 B1G)
While the previous week’s win had some pros and cons, this one was all positive. Michigan opened up conference play against Scott Frost’s new squad, but this time there was no disputing which team was the aggressor. The game was over well before half and the backups saw plenty of playing time in a 56-10 decimation by the No. 19 Wolverines over Nebraska.
1. This one turned ugly in a hurry. Karan Higdon was excellent after missing the previous week with an injury and set the tone early with a 46-yard run on the first drive to move Michigan into the red zone and a 44-yard breakaway score on the first play of the next possession to make it 14-0. By halftime it was somehow already 39-0 and the end of the day for Higdon, who finished with 136 yards.
2. Shea Patterson was not asked to do a whole lot, but he did complete nearly 70 percent of his passes while connecting with Zach Gentry for a touchdown. The Wolverine offense was rolling on the ground, and Patterson soon gave way to Dylan McCaffrey, who would connect with Ronnie Bell on a great 56-yard score later on. Not needing to do much in the passing game, Donovan Peoples-Jones made sure to not be left out, taking a third quarter punt 60 yards to the house.
3. As good as the offense was, the defense might have been better. 12 different players recorded a tackle for loss and the Huskers only totaled 132 yards on offense, a good chunk of which came in garbage time. Josh Metellus came up with an early pick that helped set the tone, and not to be left out, the punt team speared the returner to recover the ball for the second turnover of the first quarter. Things were going so well that Michigan even recorded a safety to make it 39-0 before halftime.
Everyone had a good day, so why not show a little love for the fullback position? A staple under Harbaugh is using the old school power run game, and any short yardage situation is a great candidate for a fullback dive. Three times the Wolverines lined it up close to the goal line and gave it to Ben Mason to plunge into the end zone.