The No. 18 Michigan Wolverines sent a bit of a message to the rest of the Big Ten on Saturday night with a 49-24 victory over the No. 21 Minnesota Golden Gophers. Here’s a topic-by-topic recap of what head coach Jim Harbaugh said in the aftermath.
- Said that Joe Milton’s first start was “great.” He “was cool as a cucumber” and handled everything well. Showed a real command of the offense and ran the ball with authority and took care of the football.
- Raved about the play of Kwity Paye and Aidan Hutchinson and said that they are the identity of Michigan’s defense. Also cited good coverage throughout the night and singled out Donovan Jeter, Josh Ross and Mike Barrett for their efforts. Also praised the play of redshirt freshman snapper William Wagner.
- Said that the pass protection was great and Milton had a clean pocket to step into to throw and that only time he was hit was when he ran with the football. Also the running breaks were great and Hassan Haskins did a good job finding lanes and finishing runs. “Really good backs that were running behind a really good offensive line today.”
- Harbaugh said that the effort on Saturday was fun and that he is “honored to be their coach.” Was proud of their efforts in coming back during adversity early on in the game. Said that he predicted about 9-12 momentum changes in the game and that his team had most of them.
- Harbaugh was happy his guys were prepared for the fake punt despite not really seeing that on film from Minnesota. He felt that all three units contributed mightily in the effort.
- Milton and the team was trusted to come out and perform the way they did. Harbaugh said that the team has been through a lot and stuck together throughout the offseason. “Put talented guys out there like Joe Milton and see what happens. Let everyone be surprised with how good he does.”
- Daxton Hill is being evaluated for an undisclosed injury. Harbaugh said that Quinn Nordin has also been working through something. Feels he will be fine moving forward. Expects him to be healthy and back in the competition this week.
- Harbaugh says he has so much respect for Joe Milton. The game played out the way he expected it to from his point of view. Said that he went in with a great understanding of his job and everyone else’s.
We’ll have more from Harbaugh and players as postgame coverage continues throughout the rest of the night and through Sunday.