Harbaugh as opener nears: 'There's a heart pounding right now'

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Jim Harbaugh

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh did not shed any new light on his team or position competitions during the debut of the "Inside Michigan Football" show on WXYZ Channel 7 on Sunday, but several players reiterated how rejuvenated the Wolverines have been since his arrival.

Harbaugh's show, with long-time host Jim Brandstatter, will air every Sunday during the season. Michigan opens at Utah on Thursday night.

"We got to see a glimpse of what Michigan looked like in the past, and attaching it to where we're going to go in the future is really exciting," receiver Jehu Chesson said in the opening minutes of the show.

Senior linebacker Desmond Morgan spoke about Harbaugh's hands-on approach in practice.

"The coolest thing about coach Harbaugh -- he gets involved," Morgan said. "He just jumps in drills. He gets in there with guys, mixing it up. The stuff you see is authentic; that's the way he is. He brings that energy and passion, and that trickles down to everyone on the team in practice."

Harbaugh said the players are excited about playing someone other than their teammates, as has been the case for the last several weeks in camp.

"You're beginning to froth at the mouth to get out there and play somebody else," Harbaugh said during the show.

Brandstatter asked Harbaugh to describe his emotions now, only a few days before traveling to Salt Lake City to open his first season as Michigan's coach.

"Excited. There's a heart pounding right now," Harbaugh said. "This is going to be the big stage in this opener at Utah, one of the first games, really, of the college football season, and I think a lot of people will be watching it.

"That's the big table. That's why you signed up to come to Michigan, to be at the big table."

The Utes defeated Michigan 26-10 last season in a rain-soaked and delayed game at Michigan Stadium.

"You saw them last year, they whipped us pretty good here in our own stadium," Harbaugh said. "Very good on defense, very physical. They run the ball on offense and have a quarterback (Travis Wilson) who can run himself, and he'll move it around and throw it to the open receiver. Really good kicking game. They're solid, and they've got winning on their side. Utah has done a lot of winning. It's a confident football team."

Harbaugh said the Wolverines have been working toward a season-opening victory and "a happy flight home."

"I want everybody to know -- the fellas, the coaches and everybody on the staff -- it's important we play well for the people that love Michigan and want to see us do well. It's very important we win for them."

Two-way Canteen

Receiver Freddy Canteen decided to clear up speculation about where he might play this season after the Big Ten Network's video from Michigan practice showed Canteen at cornerback.

Defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin recently told reporters they're working several players on both sides of the ball to find who fits best where.

Canteen took to Twitter Saturday and said he's a two-way player.

"To clear up the confusion," Canteen wrote.

Michigan vs. Utah

When: Thursday, 8:30 p.m.

Where: Rice-Eccels Stadium, Salt Lake City

TV: Fox Sports 1

Radio: WWJ 950, WTKA 1050

Series: Utah leads 2-1

Line: Utah by 5.5