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: 8-2 (5-2 B1G)
Though Michigan carries a ridiculously long winning streak against Indiana, none of Harbaugh’s first four contests against the Hoosiers were straightforward. Both of his trips to Bloomington went to overtime, and with the team finally looking strong and a big matchup looming the next week, this looked like a classic trap game. Instead, the No. 13 Wolverines were locked in, squarely beating Indiana 39-14.
1. It was not quite Jake Rudock-Jehu Chesson in 2015, but this was pretty darn close. Aside from a poor interception, Shea Patterson was dominant, throwing for 366 yards and five scores, including three touchdowns to Nico Collins and connecting with Ronnie Bell for his first touchdown of the year. His final two games were not quite as efficient, but Patterson put up quite the clinic in back-to-back weeks against Michigan State and Indiana.
2. The Hoosiers scored on two of their first three possessions, but the defense absorbed the punches and held its ground. The next five drives each ended in punts before a Josh Uche strip sack and a goal line stand on consecutive fourth quarter possessions. Indiana put up some yards, but overall the Wolverines defended well and really settled in after the first quarter, avoided another scare in Bloomington.
3. The run game was limited again, with neither Hassan Haskins nor Zach Charbonnet reaching even 50 yards. Michigan was content attacking the air and found a lot of success doing so, but it was strange to see both runners so limited. It was again Haskins who saw the first action, which represented a switch around mid-season, but both players contributed down the stretch and set themselves up well for a solid 2020.
2019 was frustrating at times for Collins, a gifted receiver who was not utilized nearly as much as he could have been. Against Indiana he showed exactly what the future could look like, nabbing three touchdowns and 165 yards, including a perfect fade from Patterson and a 76-yard catch and run past all of the defense. Coming back for his senior season, Collins should be an even bigger part of the offense and may be fed the ball by whoever takes over under center.