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Michigan football’s energy, focus remain high after bye week

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The Wolverines are approaching the season the right way.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Nebraska Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

After starting the season 6-0 and creating a good rhythm, the Michigan Wolverines had last week off for their bye week. It can be difficult to keep that same rhythm after such a long rest, but the team says their energy and focus were high in Sunday’s practice that coach Jim Harbaugh said was one of the best practices of the season.

“In the past, the energy would not be up on those days,” senior tight end Joel Honigford said. “Guys would be a little frustrated about coming in on Sundays, but I didn’t see anybody upset about it. We got out on the practice field, dudes were jumping around excited to be out there. It didn’t feel like anybody was sluggish or slow, guys were ready to go after it and get ready for Northwestern.”

The team heard some of the outside noise about the Oct. 30 showdown in East Lansing against rival Michigan State, but they are staying focused and only thinking about this week’s game.

“I know a lot of people outside the facility like to look forward to Michigan State, that’s a big game for sure, but so is Northwestern,” Honigford said. “We can’t get to Michigan State without going through Northwestern, and I don’t think that’s ever been an issue in the last two weeks in our facility thinking that way. We’re all focused on Northwestern, that’s who we have next.”

The Wolverines also understand they can’t take Northwestern lightly because of their record and early season struggles.

“Them going against Rutgers was kind of a showing of who they are,” Honigford said. “Obviously they have the record they do, but that’s not who they are. Northwestern’s always a good team, they were in the Big Ten championship last year. Nothing to look past at all.”

Michigan looks to take care of business against the Northwestern Wildcats on Saturday at noon in Ann Arbor.