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: 8-0 (5-0 B1G)
The Wolverines were rolling. We all know how the season ended, but it should not be forgotten just how good this team was for much of 2016. This squad won half of its games in dominant fashion, rendering second halves just about meaningless. A 59-3 drubbing of Maryland is a perfect example of another win by No. 3 Michigan that really does not even stand out.
1. While the game was still somewhat competitive, the Wolverines looked to move the ball through the air. Wilton Speight had a much better game than the week prior, connecting on big play touchdowns to both Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh, who combined for almost 200 receiving yards. Jake Butt was active too, bringing in five catches for 76 yards.
2. In typical Harbaugh fashion, the majority of the scores came on the ground. De’Veon Smith was the beneficiary of short fields three times, and Khalid Hill pounded one into the end zone as well. As in other blowout wins, just about every rusher got in on the action. Chris Evans impressed on a screen that he took 56 yards that was called just short of the goal line.
3. The defense was good, but not impenetrable. Nevertheless, the Terrapins averaged just 2.1 yards per carry and did not get on the scoreboard until the fourth quarter, so clearly not too much was going right. Delano Hill had a nice game with a pair of interceptions, and the defense rallied for 13 TFLs. Maryland did have a few big plays in the passing game, but the Wolverines were able to keep the visitors out of the end zone.
Speight was very good, throwing for 362 yards and only recording five incompletions. In addition to his passing scores to Chesson and Darboh, he also scampered into the end zone for a rare rushing touchdown, his only one of the year. For such a lopsided win, this game was not that memorable, but it was Speight who may have had the biggest highlight, creating a pseudo-Jumpman pose on his way in for the score.