What Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said in his Monday news conference

By Nolan Bianchi
The Detroit News
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh signals to his players to try for a two-point conversion after a touchdown in the second quarter on Saturday against Indiana.

Topics covered by Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh during his Monday news conference, ahead of the Wolverines' game this Saturday against Ohio State:

Is the standard you hold yourself to change if you can't beat Ohio State?

Harbaugh says he's trying to do everything he can to beat Ohio State.

On the mutual respect in the rivalry:

"I'd agree."

How do you get Shea Patterson amped up?

"He's been all you can ask from a demeanor standpoint, every game we've played."

On the guaranteed win he made in 1986 when he was Michigan's quarterback:

"I don't know" what made him say that, Harbaugh says. "Not much to say about that. Can't tell you what it was."

Says Ohio State is not just another game on the schedule.

On playing in the tough environment of Ohio Stadium:

"I don't play anymore."

Says he expects competition at the highest level.

How do you find the balance between letting go of past defeats and using them to your benefit?

"We'll start with our goal. Our goal is to win the next game. When you win a game, you want to come back Monday, and do everything you possibly can to have that same feeling -- that happiness, elation." 

When you lose, you come back and make sure it doesn't happen again, Harbaugh says.

What would it mean to the program to win?

"It'd mean a lot."

How much does it motivate you that this team hasn't won in Columbus since 2000?

"I expect our team to be very motivated. I know I am."

On the most exciting thing about this year's game:

"The competition. That's always the best part."

How would you describe the offense in comparison to last year?

"I don't really like to get into comparisons," he says, adding that it's never a good idea to diminish somebody or something.

"We're happy with the way the offense is playing, and working really hard," he says, "to put in a good plan for this game."

Is there a more significant pressure this year than most?

"I look at pressure as life-giving energy."

On the buy-in this year:

"It's a tight-knit team."

Is there a moment when you considered how fun this year is?

"We're having fun?"

Is Michigan unusually motivated?

"It's just a good ball team. Think of it like any good ball team you've ever been on," whether it's high school, pro, pickup in the neighborhood.

"Probably the most profound thing is how they talk to each other," Harbaugh says. 

On the rivalry:

"The same as it has always meant -- big game."

On Ohio State in general:

"They've got a really effective running game," good schemes, "and really good execution."

On Ohio State's passing game:

"It's really good." 

"Really good quarterback" who gets the ball "to all parts of the field," Harbaugh says.

What was your reaction to the Revenge Tour?

"Players do things to motivate themselves. That's what I first thought of it."

"It's a good one. Anger has proven to be a powerful motivator."

Most impressive thing about Shea?

"How Shea Patterson handles things is terrific. He does what's needed. He does what's expected. You need him to make a play, he makes it, whether it's throwing, running."

Favorite thing about the defense?

"So many players are playing at a really high level" and the best football of their careers.

Harbaugh says he likes the way "the secondary covers" and how the linebackers are playing, and how all the units come together. "It fits well, they tackle really well."

Where has Ben Bredeson progressed?

"He's been a tremendous leader" and consistently plays at a very high level, Harbaugh says. "One of my favorite players on the team."

On Shea Patterson's contribution: 

"It's been a most valuable player level."

Will Chase Winovich play?

Not sure yet. "Will continue to evaluate every day."

CT scans were negative for Winovich and Berkley Edwards.

On Jake Moody:

Very talented, "a very good leg," Harbaugh says. "Thought he could be a real effective kickoff player for us right away then he's progressed very well as a field goal kicker."


Ohio State week has finally arrived for the Michigan Wolverines as the teams will meet for the right to face Northwestern in the Big Ten championship game. Jim Harbaugh kicks things off with his regular Monday news conference at noon. Nolan Bianchi of The Detroit News will provide live updates here on all of the topics Harbaugh covers during the news conference.


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