Recap: Jim Harbaugh previews Michigan vs. Michigan State

James Hawkins
The Detroit News

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh meets with reporters Monday at noon to preview the Wolverines’ rivalry game this week against Michigan State. Get live updates here from James Hawkins of The Detroit News as Harbaugh answers questions from the media.

On Big Ten returning to play: "Happy for us, our players, all the other players in the Big Ten getting able to play. Felt great to be back in Week 1."

On intensity between Michigan's offense and defense in practice: "Really good, very competitive. Very talented players on both sides of the ball. There's a lot of great things we saw in practice that we saw in the (Minnesota) game...A lot of hustle with all our units and physicality was excellent on both sides of the ball."

Evaluation of Michigan State so far: "Didn't get chance to see first game. Obviously a new staff, but wouldn't expect there to be that many turnovers the next time they play. That obviously that hurt them badly in their past game."

On Nick Eubanks' absence and Erick All stepping in: "We'll find out more about Nick today, tomorrow. Erick All I thought was really impressive. The unheralded player of entire offense. His blocking was phenomenal." 

On offensive line's performance at Minnesota: "Pass protection and run blocking was outstanding. Another unheralded player, Jalen Mayfield was lights out. He played tremendous in pass protection. Andrew Vastardis was also really good...But as a group, outstanding and graded out."

On if anything changes with UM's Joe Milton and MSU's Rocky Lombardi making first start at QB in rivalry game: "They've both seen it up close so I think they both have a really good understanding of it, the magnitude of it. Then you get consumed with the preparation and understanding as much as you can about the game plan and the opposing defense. I'm sure both of them have a good understanding of the magnitude of the game."

On how critical it was to return entire offensive staff this year: "I don't think any question about it, it was an advantage. All coaches were back but another significant factor was no assistant coaches were on road recruiting in April and May. There were a lot of Zoom meetings, meeting daily pretty much every day of the week. Think they did a really great job coming together and sifting through everything we were doing and some really good adds."

On having no fans at Michigan Stadium and aiming for third straight win against MSU: "It's different. It's still a game. The red blood is pumping and it'll be really pumping for both sides in this game, no question about that. It's for the state championship, that's what we call it. I think a lot of players can relate to that. It's a really big deal."

On Dax Hill's status for this week: "I think he's going to be fine. We'll know in next day or so."

On Michael Barrett's outing: "Michael Barrett was lights out on defense and special teams. I think it's first time since Jabrill Peppers (against Colorado in 2016) we've named a defensive and special teams player of the game."

Jim Harbaugh

Michigan vs. Michigan State

Kickoff: Noon Saturday, Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor

TV/radio: Fox/WWJ 950, WJR 760

Records: Michigan 1-0, MSU 0-1

Line: Michigan by 25

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