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Noteworthy comments from Jim Harbaugh’s pre-Illinois press conference

Harbaugh spoke about the challenge the Illini will provide.

Nebraska v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

To kickoff Illinois week, Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh took questions from the media Monday afternoon. Here are his most noteworthy comments:

On if the defense is exceeding Harbaugh’s preseason expectations: “Well, we didn’t really put any limit to the expectations, we thought our defense could be really good; had the license and ability to be an outstanding defense. At the time, I called it the ‘no-name’ defense in some ways, where guys at each position were competing to make a name for themselves, and I think that’s transpired.”

On defending Illinois RB Chase Brown: “(The rush defense) is gonna be tested this week probably like none other up to this point. Illinois is very strong at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, outstanding run scheme, outstanding running back, so it’ll be a real challenge for our team this year.”

On what impressed him about Mimi Bolden-Morris: “The things that really stood out the most were that she really wanted to do it and that she was really smart, and since then there’s been a lot of really great qualities to work with. The enthusiasm she brings daily, honestly a real go-getter. I had hired her and without me knowing it she was voluntarily working at Georgetown University in the football program to prepare herself for this job. I thought that spoke volumes. She was so good at it that the Georgetown football program wanted to hire her at a full-time position there.”

On if the pass game isn’t at the same level as the run game in his eyes: “There’s an adage in football that you have to make them stop something. If they don’t take it away and they don’t stop it then it’s kinda foolish to not keep attempting, whether it’s throwing the ball or running the ball.”

On what this year’s senior class means to him: “It’s a large group, somewhere around 42 or 43. Been a tremendous, tremendous group. It’s made my day to day so good just being around the kind of guys that they are. They work so hard, they cause me very little grief, can’t say enough good things really.”

On how the shuffling of the offensive line has helped their development: “I think they’ve handled it really good, and yeah, we are better and deeper because of the experience some guys have gotten.”