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Despite Donovan Edwards’ absence, Michigan’s rush attack remains elite

Jim Harbaugh invoked George Patton in his comments on the run game.

Nebraska v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

As has become the defining characteristic of this year’s Michigan team, the Wolverines’ rushing attack paved the way to a 34-3 victory Saturday night against the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Despite the loss of Donovan Edwards early in the game, the game plan was undeterred, with six running backs getting at least one carry in the contest — an equal number to the amount of receivers recording a catch.

To Jim Harbaugh, this isn’t a problem, even as questions mount about whether the reliance on the rushing game is the best path forward.

“When you’re getting five yards a carry, six yards a carry, it’s tough to say ‘let’s throw it,’” Harbaugh said. “We’re gonna do what we think when we’re in game is the best chance of winning the game.

“We’ve had these conversations before, there’s two ways to go — you can go by the air, or you can go by the ground. Today was a day we chose to go more on the ground. George Patton would be proud.”

Despite six backs getting a carry in the game — including most notably the resurgence of CJ Stokes with 68 yards on eight attempts — it was Blake Corum who received the most of Edwards’ unused snaps.

Even this late in the season with all the aches and pains that come with it though, more carries isn’t a bad thing to Corum.

“I always go into each game wanting the ball,” Corum said. “I want it as many times as they’re gonna give it to me, so I expected a good amount.”

When asked about his own wear and tear, including a visible limp in parts of Saturday’s game, Corum brushed any concerns aside.

“I can play a whole ‘nother season,” Corum said. “I’m good, I’m feeling great. I feel like I just continue to get better. I treat my body really good. So to answer your question, I feel great man. I feel ready to go. Minor tweaks, just gotta shake it off real quick. It’s feeling better.”

With any luck, Edwards’ sidelining will be a single-game occurrence. Even if it isn’t, it’s clear the run game is king in Michigan’s playbook no matter who’s touching the ball.