Juwan Howard ready to be the '12th man' at Michigan-Ohio State football game

James Hawkins
The Detroit News

The Michigan football team will have its own “12th man” for Saturday’s rivalry matchup against Ohio State — Juwan Howard.

The men’s basketball coach will be in the stands and plans the bring the noise as the No. 6 Wolverines host the No. 2 Buckeyes in a high-stakes game that has major Big Ten and College Football Playoff implications.

Michigan coach Juwan Howard

“They're going to need me out there,” Howard said after Michigan beat Tarleton State on Wednesday night. “I'm going to be out there loud. I'm going to lose my voice because I am coming with the energy. I feel like I'm the 12th man.”

Howard has often attended home football games and shown his support during his tenure. This weekend will be no different.

He praised coach Jim Harbaugh and his staff for their preparation as the Wolverines look to snap an eight-game losing streak in a series that has been dominated by the Buckeyes the past two decades. The last time Michigan beat Ohio State when both teams were ranked was Nov. 22, 2003.

More: Detroit News predictions: Michigan football vs. Ohio State

“I love our game plan. I haven't seen it, but I trust it,” Howard said. “I also love the players led by so many outstanding young student-athletes starting with my man (Aidan) Hutchinson. Man, I could keep going on and on and on. I can name the entire roster. That's how locked in I'm in.

“Don't give up on J.J. McCarthy now. Cade (McNamara) is so solid, it's beautiful to see. Our running back crew is amazing. But the offensive line, they're going to play on Sundays. They're going to get drafted whenever that time comes because they're so special. They have a great coach that's leading that offensive line. But then our defense — I tell you, I can keep going on and on and on — is so solid.”

Ohio State and Michigan both enter the showdown at 10-1. The Buckeyes are atop the Big Ten East standings with an 8-0 mark and the Wolverines are 6-0 at home this season.

Howard, who didn’t offer a score prediction, will make an appearance on ESPN’s “College GameDay” show before The Game.

“Go Blue, baby,” Howard said. “It's going down on Saturday.” 


Twitter: @jamesbhawkins