Jim Harbaugh spoke to the media on Monday afternoon ahead of this weekend’s rivalry renewal against the Michigan State Spartans. Harbaugh, who is 2-2 against the Spartans since arriving in Ann Arbor, is expecting and preparing for the unexpected in Saturday’s game.
Here’s a recap of everything he had to say during his Monday press conference.
- Harbaugh confirmed on Monday that running back Chris Evans will return to Michigan during the 2020 winter term and will be allowed to participate in football activities upon his arrival. (More on that here)
- Michigan practiced twice during the bye week and the entire team was a part of it
- Harbaugh and Michigan are on high alert for trick plays and other forms of chicanery this weekend and called MSU head coach Mark Dantonio a “master motivator”
- On film, Harbaugh saw a Spartan team last week that they are taking seriously after putting up 500 total yards of offense.
- Defensive line depth on the interior is something Harbaugh has been pleased with as the season has moved along. He said they are “exceeding expectations.”
- Asked to explain his comments on Dantonio as a coach, Harbaugh said that they are based on the entire body of work for Dantonio at MSU.
- On the pre-game shenanigans from last season: “That’s been addressed pretty thoroughly. There’s a rule that 2 hours before the game, players cannot be on the field before 2 hours. If there are any pregame traditions, those take place before the 2 hour mark, one team cannot supersede that. It’s been addressed.”
- Michigan has “heightened intensity” this week and the common thread in these MSU games has been that they are “competitive and intense.”
- As far as how they prep for trick plays, Harbaugh says they set practice time aside to work on defending them.
- Linebacker Joshua Ross will play in one more game this season and then seek a redshirt if they can pull it off. He would have two years of eligibility remaining.
- Harbaugh said you can “throw out the records” between these two teams.
Harbaugh did not have a ton to say and the media did not have a ton to throw at him, so there were not sexy or clickbait sound clips out of this one. The Wolverines and Spartans will kick off on Saturday at noon from Ann Arbor.