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: 6-2 (3-2 B1G)
Michigan was determined to make the most of the latter part of the year and followed up a positive second half against Penn State with a demolition of Notre Dame. Up next was a trip to College Park that was unlikely to pose too much of a threat. The No. 14 Wolverines predictably jumped all over Maryland, cruising to a 38-7 win that was never competitive.
1. The Wolverines started with a bang, as Giles Jackson took the opening kickoff 97 yards to the house. The freshman receiver had a modest year with just nine catches, but he was active in other ways, including recording 10 carries and averaging nearly 24 yards per kick return. Against the Terrapins he helped Michigan pick right up from the previous week and set the tone early.
2. The defense was up to the task, pitching a shutout (unlike the special teams unit) and limiting Maryland to 233 yards, much of which occurred with the score already lopsided. The visitors racked up eight tackles for loss and generally kept everything in front of them. The Terrapins had one drive that looked promising, but a Josh Metellus interception in the red zone ended the threat; a missed field goal on the next drive was the only other decent opportunity of the afternoon.
3. It was a modest day for Shea Patterson, who looked off at times. He did connect with Nick Eubanks for a score, but the offense was mostly driven by the running game. The lead role went to Hassan Haskins, who found the end zone on one of his 13 carries. Zach Charbonnet was still active, though, and the true freshman scored a pair of touchdowns to make it 21-0 at half.
Jackson became just the third Wolverine to return a kickoff for a touchdown in the decade. Like Jackson, Jehu Chesson took back an opening kick in 2015 against Northwestern, and Ambry Thomas returned a kickoff for a score in the 2018 opener against the Irish. Michigan had six punt return touchdowns from 2010 to 2019.