Wolverines work to block 'outside noise' after drubbing by Badgers
Ann Arbor — College football players don’t have blinders on. They’ll say they don’t read the papers or stories about the team, and maybe they don’t, but social media is on their radars and they see what is said about them.
Michigan linebacker Jordan Glasgow said it isn’t difficult for him to look past the criticism on social media and even television, but he knows there’s been plenty after Michigan’s 35-14 beatdown at Wisconsin last Saturday in the Big Ten opener.
“I imagine a lot of people don’t have a lot of very good things to say about us right now," Glasgow said Monday, "but that’s not what’s important because going forward if we do what we know we can do and improve on what we can, we can be very successful. That’s all we really need to focus on.”
But it’s not just Michigan fans and national media pundits making noise. Several former Michigan players have chimed in, including 1997 Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson.
Woodson made his debut on Fox’s Saturday College Football Show and didn’t hide his emotions.
“I’ll be honest with you, man, I’m embarrassed,” said Woodson, who told The News just before the start of the season he expected Michigan to be in the national championship hunt this season. “I’m embarrassed about that.”
Former All-American offensive lineman Steve Hutchinson posted his sentiments on Twitter after the game, saying he believes he was speaking for many former Michigan players.
“When I say, forget about winning. How about we just compete?” Hutchinson posted.
Khaleke Hudson, a team captain, said the players had heard some of that commentary since Saturday’s loss in which, as coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday, the team had issues “from A to Z."
“We know alumni, they feel strongly about Michigan football, and we also do, too,” Hudson said. “Just go out there and do what we do and want to improve for the team. We’ve been working since spring ball, we’ve been working in camp, now it’s the season. So just going out there and doing what we’ve been doing forever and playing Michigan football and being the best out there. That’s the main thing we’re going to focus on.”
Glasgow is the third in his family to play for the Wolverines, and is not unfamiliar with the criticism the team has and can endure.
“It’s really not really a big deal to me,” he said. “I’ve had brothers (Graham and Ryan) who have dealt with the same thing. It’s not a big deal. I really only care about what my teammates and coaches have to say and other than that, my family.”
The Michigan players have taken the proverbial circle-the-wagons approach, which is probably the only way they can work through these criticisms.
“You just got to remember that everybody in this building, we’re all together, so we can’t turn our back on each other,” linebacker Jordan Anthony said. “Sometimes you just have to block out the outside noise and just remember we’re a family in there and what happens in here stays in here.”
Doing what he can
Putting Glasgow in a goal-line package on the defensive line against a massive Wisconsin front boggles logic, but Glasgow merely said he should have done better.
Glasgow is 6-foot-1, 226 pounds and from all accounts one of the toughest and hardest-hitting and working players on defense. But 226 pounds versus the Badgers’ gigantic 330-pound plus linemen doesn’t appear to be an even matchup.
“It doesn’t matter who I line up against, I’ve got to do the job I was told to do,” Glasgow said. “Some of the plays, obviously that are on the goal line, I feel like I didn’t perform the way I should have. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 330-pound offensive guard or the tackle or the center or whoever, I’ve got to perform and do what I’m asked to do as a football player.”