Recap: Jim Harbaugh Monday news conference
On cornerback David Long
"He's really solid and in the right place all the time. He's a heck of a good football player, and he's been tough, he's out there every snap, every ball game. Just a really good player."
"He's getting his hands on the ball when they throw it toward him. He's a good tackler and a top notch player in the conference."
Are you noticing the guys are any different as far as motivation?
"I've only been a few of them. Sunday's the day off" and Monday there's classes.
Has Tarik Black made any progress?
Not talking about injuries.
Is there any directive from you for players to keep quiet about the rivalry?
"I think we could all use a break from the cliches that have been plowed so thoroughly on both sides."
Is Rashan Gary's injury a lingering thing?
"I don't know if he's going to be back this week, and past that I'm just not talking about any injuries.
Did not answer question about if Ben Mason's absence was injury related.
Was it gameplan related?
"I'm not talking about anything gameplan related."
How often do you get a guy who can have the input of Eubanks?
"From time to time."
What has allowed Nick Eubanks to get open?
"He's really progressed in all areas with his" blocking, route running, "and understanding of the scheme."
"Nick played early. He played right away in his very first ball game, and he would sometimes be the guy who's asking a question as we're leaving the huddle," and would need a reminder.
"Now he's the guy giving a reminder."
Says Eubanks changed a blocking scheme once, which shows how much his ability to understand the game has progressed.
What was it like for you to get a win in Spartan Stadium as a player, how did Bo approach it?
"The way it always has been, the way it is, the way it will be... big game."
Shea Patterson's improvement
"His ball handling is superb."
"He does a great job of taking care of the football... He does a great job of making decisions, the team trusts him."
How have you seen the offense progress?
"Better each day in terms of constant, continuous improvement."
What do you say about your players about the opportunity in this game?
What have you seen from Grant Newsome as a volunteer and as a student?
"He's knocking it out of the park," he says, "to the point that he could go around the bases twice."
"As a football coach, exceptional. As an underclassmen, better than anybody I've ever seen. He contributes daily, weekly. Not only in scouting reports, in game he's contributed and I think anybody around here would tell you it's at the highest level as an individual. Whatever he touches, he's just really good at."
How close has offense come to reaching full potential?
"Always striving for and chasing to be as good as you can be."
After six straight wins, what's the confidence level?
"Good. Confident team."
"Enthusiastic every day, we're excited to get back on the field and practice."
What makes them so tough to run the ball on?
"They're very stout up front. I mean they've got some real hard-playing guys. Their linebackers are some of the best in the league. Very sound system, they do a great job of adjusting... very well coached, and they have a lot of variation to their scheme."
"If there are holes in the run game, they get closed quickly."
How do you game plan against trick plays like MSU likes to run?
"Always on alert in terms of trick plays."
The progress of Josh Metellus
Metellus was last week's defensive player of the game. Carlo Kemp got pressure on LeVert's interception. Harbaugh says Saturday's win over Wisconsin was Metellus' best game as a Wolverine.
What's the biggest step forward you've seen form this O-line?
Multiple starts with the individuals players, "Each one of them," he says, "are playing their best football."
"All five graded out at a winning level this past game, the progression has been good for each of them individually."
It's UM-MSU week
Michigan and Michigan State are preparing to battle on Saturday in their annual rivalry game. UM coach Jim Harbaugh meets the media on Monday at noon to talk about the big game. You can follow the highlights from Harbaugh’s press conference here with live updates by Nolan Bianchi of The Detroit News.