Jim Harbaugh: John Madden raves about Michigan's offensive line vs. Ohio State

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said he received several congratulatory text messages after his Wolverines upset Ohio State to win the Big Ten East Division title and a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game.

Among the texts Saturday night was one from legendary former coach and broadcaster John Madden. Madden, 85, won a Super Bowl XI with the Raiders.

John Madden

“I got a great text from John Madden, and John Madden said that this is as good an offensive line performance as he’s seen in a football game,” Harbaugh said Sunday during a Big Ten conference call.

He shared the message with Michigan offensive line coach and co-offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore.

“I texted that to Sherrone and said, ‘Keep that on your phone forever,’” Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh said it was "quite a text" from Madden, a former offensive lineman.

“I’d show you the text if I could find my phone, but I can’t find my phone," Harbaugh said on the Zoom.

The Wolverines rushed for 297 yards against the Buckeyes, which had yielded an average 102.3 yards a game, and Hassan Haskins scored five rushing touchdowns. Michigan’s offensive line got great push and also kept quarterback Cade McNamara and backup J.J. McCarthy clean and didn’t give up a sack.

“After what happened in the 2020, we took it upon ourselves to start building an identity that we wanted to be,” right tackle Andrew Stueber said Saturday after the win. “It started in the spring, it started in training camp, just building that intensity that ability to move people off, the ability to become nasty. We’ve been building that all year.

“We’ve been able to run the ball on a lot of teams that other teams haven’t been able to. It came to a pinnacle in this game. We were able to come off, move the ball, hit their linebackers and do something that a lot of teams failed to do. That’s an accumulation of everything we’ve done in the offseason, throughout spring ball, throughout camp and throughout this season. I couldn’t be more proud of the O-line as a unit.”

Michigan is ranked ninth nationally in rushing, averaging 224.9 yards a game, and is third nationally and first in the Big Ten in sacks allowed. Michigan has given up nine this season.


Twitter: @chengelis