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Jim Harbaugh expects ‘knock down, drag out kind of affair’ against Iowa this weekend

Making his weekly appearance on Inside Michigan Football, Harbaugh reflected on the Maryland victory and discussed the upcoming matchup with Iowa.

Connecticut v Michigan Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

The Michigan Wolverines are 4-0 after Saturday’s 34-27 victory over the Maryland Terrapins. It wasn’t always easy, but the Wolverines faced and overcame adversity for the first time this season, in large part due to running back Blake Corum carryint the ball 30 times for 243 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

While questions remain on both sides of the ball, Harbaugh was bullish on the luxury of having a running back like Corum: “Anytime there was a mistake, he just had the ability to cover it all up with his special ability.”

Thirty carries is far from a light load, but Harbaugh believes in Corum’s preparation and tireless work ethic to prevent him from wearing down this season.

“Blake trains seven days a week year-round. I think he could play two games back-to-back every single Saturday,” he said.

As far as the quarterback position, J.J. McCarthy played his first full-length game at Michigan and finished 18-for-26 for 220 yards and two touchdowns. However, he missed a few deep throws and reads, fumbled the ball twice and made several rookie mistakes.

But when discussing the things McCarthy has to clean up, Harabugh was optimistic because Michigan was still able to win, and he believes in McCarthy’s work ethic to clean up those miscues.

“To be able to win and have that many things to improve upon, really fires you up,” Harbaugh said.

Turning his attention to Iowa, Harbaugh was forthcoming in his admiration: “We have tremendous respect for what Iowa can do.”

And unlike the Big Ten Championship last year that saw Michigan win 42-3, Harbaugh expects a “knock down, drag out kind of affair” that would more resemble their meetings in 2016 and 2019.

“Th environment will be great. It will be one you can enjoy and remember and it'll be one you can enjoy more fondly if you win.”

Despite Iowa’s offense being a punchline among the national media, Harbaugh isn’t buying it. “It’s that way every single year, and half the time they win the Big Ten West.”

As far as players returning from injuries, there was no word provided on tight end Erick All, left guard Trevor Keegan, linebacker Nikhai Hill-Green or Cade McNamara. But Harbaugh said it is “possible Donovan Edwards could be back this weekend.”

Reading between the lines, it sounds more probable the Wolverines could be without the sophomore until Indiana.

Harbaugh and the Wolverines travel to Kinnick Stadium — where Michigan has not won since 2005 — this weekend to take on the defensively smothering/offensively inept Hawkeyes.

Michigan will look to start the season 5-0 for only the third time under Jim Harbaugh (2016, 2021).