Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh talks about QBs Wilton Speight and John O'Korn. Angelique S. Chengelis, The Detroit News
Ann Arbor – Despite breaking in a new center and right side of the offensive line, Michigan had 215 yards of rushing in the win over Florida. Ty Isaac led the team with 114 yards.
Center Patrick Kugler graded out the highest among offensive lineman, coach Jim Harbaugh said. Harbaugh added that overall, he was pleased with the line’s performance.
“Liked our run game. Liked our pass protection. Liked in our passing game, we hit big plays,” Harbaugh said. “We executed at times very well. The play-action was extremely good. We moved the ball. We were able to move and score points. Feel like if we turned some of those red-zone field goals into touchdowns, you score 40-45-plus points.”
Nolan Ulizio made his first start at right tackle.
“I thought he did a good job,” Harbaugh said. “Some things to improve on. Would say that some mistakes, physical mistakes where we got beat, and I would say that for our offense in general.”
The line, Harbaugh said, looked more athletic and already showed improvement from last year.
“Very happy with (right guard) Mike Onwenu,” he said. “Mike Onwenu or (left guard) Ben Bredeson – who’s better? They’re both ascending and Mike’s ascending real fast. Pat Kugler, to have the type of game he had, and Nolan Ulizio – we’re better. It shows (we’re) more athletic.
“There’s time consistently during the season last year we were getting beat and there were free runners on the quarterback. There’s a lot less of that in the ball game against a very good defensive line and linebacker corps. We were getting them blocked. We were moving our feet. It wasn’t perfect, but it’s a good place to be. Glad we’re at that level. We’re at a good level. We can improve from here.”
Harbaugh said he and his staff have coaching improvements to make, particularly after watching Michigan’s offense react to the two interception returns for touchdowns.
“You throw an interception, the receivers, the tight ends, the backs, the skill players, quarterback, the line – everybody has to go make that tackle,” Harbaugh said. “We were atrocious standing there and watching. That starts with me, that starts with the coaches, but it will get addressed.”
Cornerbacks David Long and Brandon Watson were injured during the Florida game, but Harbaugh said they are still “going through treatment” and indicated both should be fine.
“We’re in really good shape coming out of this game,” Harbaugh said. “Both of those youngsters will be fine.”