Harbaugh tells UM players to ‘soldier up,’ win next game
Ann Arbor – Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh’s message to his players after the loss has been to “soldier up” and keep preparing as they have all season because their goals remain intact.
The Wolverines lost 14-13 to Iowa last Saturday night on a game-ending field goal to disrupt their unbeaten season. Still, at 9-1 (6-1 Big Ten), and with games against Indiana at Michigan Stadium on Saturday and at Ohio State on Nov. 26 to finish the regular season, Michigan can earn a spot in the Big Ten championship game by winning those two games.
“The engagement of the players has been a real positive week in and week out,” Harbaugh said Monday at his weekly news conference. “No question about it, the way they prepare, the way they practice, the way they play on Saturdays. Our goal is the same, which is win the next game.”
Tight end Jake Butt, a co-captain, said the team will learn from the loss.
“It’s a tough loss,” Butt said. “It’s a game we could have won, so that’s going to sting a little bit. We remind ourselves that everything we set out for at the beginning of the season is still right in front of us. We’re going to learn from this loss and become tougher and better. We control our destiny, so as long as we keep handling business, we’re not worried about what anybody is doing. We just have to handle our own business and the rest will take care of itself.”
Butt said having a veteran team that has experienced the ups and downs of a season is an advantage going forward. He said the younger players are following their lead.
“There’s no panic button,” Butt said. “We’re not going to let one loss turn into two. We’re going to continue with the same mentality, get back to work and move forward.
“It’s really the only way to go about this. I’m very confident in our team to be able to bounce back from something like this. It starts with our coaching staff. They’re going to put us in a position to succeed. We’re going to lay it all on the line and leave it all on the field this weekend and going forward. I have full confidence in everybody on the team.”
Stay or go?
Several weeks ago defensive lineman Chris Wormley said he had a “gut feeling” Maurice Hurst will stay for his final season at Michigan.
Hurst said it’s not something he’s focusing on right now. He would be in graduate school next fall.
“I’ve thought about it,” Hurst said. “Obviously, that’s something I have to talk about with my family and just make that decision toward the end of the year. I’m just worried about winning the game at this point. Not really concerned about myself.”
Defensive back Jeremy Clark, who suffered a season-ending knee injury earlier this season, has had successful surgery, Harbaugh said, and is currently gathering information to submit to the NCAA to petition for a medical redshirt.
“(He’s) making the case and submitting it soon,” Harbaugh said.
Explaining 10 men
Michigan had 10 men on the field for Iowa’s game-winning field goal.
“We started with 12 in the huddle and we were having Dymonte Thomas come out. Dymonte came out and Tyree (Kinnel) thought he was supposed to come out as well,” Harbaugh said.