Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh knows how the 2021 Wolverines are feeling after their 37-33 loss to Michigan State. “I’ve seen the team for a long time now — the way they respond, whether it’s a setback or chatter,” he said.
Knocked down, but not knocked out.
“My approach, very similar to a fighter getting knocked down. You get up, referee wipes the gloves and you come back even more determined, with even more resolve,” Harbaugh said. “To prepare, to work harder, to find a way, to finish, and to win.”
Edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson said Michigan’s still in contention and they have a lot to play for, quarterback Cade McNamara acknowledged Michigan’s back is against the wall and they have to bounce back from the MSU defeat. The message from Michigan veterans is the same as a popular phrase from “Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy” — “DON’T PANIC”.
Receiver Mike Sainristil said that Michigan will have a player-led meeting later on Monday afternoon, something they’ve had multiple times since Week 1 vs. Western Michigan. For Sainristil and the rest of Michigan’s leadership council, the message is clear.
“Making sure that we relay the message to the team that we’re still in this. There’s no need to worry, we just have to bounce back and take this past weekend for what it is,” Sainristil said.
Michigan’s doing what they can to wipe away a bad Saturday and try to finish as strong as they can against Indiana, Penn State, Maryland, and Ohio State.
“We have a lot left in us as a team, we’re still trending in the right direction,” Sainristil said. “There’s a lot left on the table for us, and there’s big things still to come.”
7-1 Michigan is still ranked in the top 10. Michigan has had a lot of good Saturday’s this fall, but the final minutes on Saturday in East Lansing ended that streak of good vibes. Harbaugh mentioned that those wins, and yes, what happened in East Lansing, all of those Saturday’s make up what this Michigan team is — what they’ll be remembered for — but their legacy isn’t written in stone just yet, there are four more games still to play. The final stretch is really going to be telling.
“The Michigan Football team, the 2021 team is gonna be defined on what’s already taken place, and what they do this Saturday, what they do the Saturday after that, and the Saturday after that. That’s what’s gonna define us. The resolve is to get back to work, get prepared for this next opponent. That’s why I woke up today,” Harbaugh said. “Determined to attack with the resolve that it’s a new season, it’s a new day, it’s a new week, a new four-game season. Let’s get at it.”