clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Harbaugh History: Win No. 11 vs. Hawaii (2016)

Michigan begins Year Two of the Harbaugh era with a Hawaii beatdown.

NCAA Football: Hawaii at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

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: 0-0 (0-0 B1G)

Round One was in the books. Jim Harbaugh fell a little short in the Big Ten East after a couple disappointing losses to Michigan’s rivals, but he still ended up with a 10-win year and a strong finish over Florida in the Citrus Bowl. Now with a new quarterback at the helm and a full recruiting class coming in, hopes were high for the No. 7 Wolverines to start the year. One 63-3 walkthrough against Hawaii later and those feelings only started to grow.

Three takeaways

1. There was some uncertainty before the 2016 season began as to who would take over for Jake Rudock, but Harbaugh decided to go with sophomore Wilton Speight over transfer John O’Korn. Comically, Speight managed to throw an interception on his very first play of the season. That barely fazed him, though, as the quarterback wound up connecting with three different pass catchers for touchdowns on an afternoon where he really did not need to do too much.

2. Hawaii really struggled on offense, totaling just 232 yards and one field goal, much of which came after the game was well decided. Channing Stribling and Delano Hill both found the end zone on pick sixes, and the team combined for 10 tackles for loss. Jabrill Peppers was not needed on offense, but he picked up where he left off with eight tackles, including a sack, and some excitement in the punt return game.

3. Against lesser sides like the Rainbow Warriors is really where Harbaugh’s offense can be seen. The Wolverines racked up over 300 rushing yards and four touchdowns, with basically everyone contributing, including two wide receivers on end arounds (hello, Eddie McDoom) and the usage of multiple fullbacks. Garbage time started before the second quarter was finished, so everyone was able to get in some early-season looks.

Standout performer

The biggest star on the afternoon had to be true freshman Chris Evans. Hyped for his speed and dynamic ability, the running back did not disappoint, notching 112 yards on just eight carries and leaving defenders in the dust on a 43-yard touchdown sprint. He also found the end zone while tight-roping down the sideline, having about as good of a debut as a player could hope for.