'No regrets' for UM seniors; Chase Winovich undecided on return
Ann Arbor — Michigan’s seniors played their final game at Michigan Stadium and will leave the program never having beaten their archrival, Ohio State.
The Wolverines lost, 31-20, to the Buckeyes on Saturday for the sixth straight season and are 1-13 in their last 14 meetings.
Michigan honored 33 seniors, including 10 fifth-year players like fullback Khalid Hill.
“You want to go out as a senior, especially last home game in your stadium you want to get a win,” said Hill, who had five carries for 11 yards, a 10-yard reception and one touchdown. “All the seniors left everything we had on the field. I know I have no regrets in this game. I did everything in my power to help us win. We just came up short.”
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, who is now 0-3 against Ohio State, said he was disappointed for the seniors.
“Wish we could have sent the seniors out with a victory,” Harbaugh said. “They gave it everything they had and played extremely hard. Great bunch of guys, great character guys. So it’s disappointing.”
Starting defensive end Chase Winovich, who had nine tackles with a sack, will graduate in the spring and said he will weigh his options after the bowl game. He could return for his fifth year or take a shot at the NFL Draft.
“We’re still deciding,” Winovich said. “In a way I’m kind of like a free agent. I’m a senior, I’ll be graduating in the spring, so we’re just going to evaluate all my options.”
Winovich, like Hill, said he played as hard as he could against Ohio State and was disappointed Michigan fell short again.
“I felt like I left it all out there and I could hang my hat on that,” Winovich said. “I felt that was the way for other people, too.”
Michigan great Charles Woodson, the 1997 Heisman Trophy winner, was honorary captain and spoke to the team Friday night.
“He emphasized over and over this is not another game,” Winovich said. “We wanted this one. It seemed like more than (ever) just with everything that happened last year. This is our stadium. But it is what it is. We’re going to look it right in the face and learn from it.”
Senior linebacker and co-captain Mike McCray had a message for the players in the final minute of the game.
“Mike McCray brought everyone up at the end of the game, there was a minute left and we had the ball on offense, he basically said, ‘Let’s win the bowl game,’” Winovich said. “Our mentality was shifting from dwelling on this loss. It was virtually over, but we were already forming that mindset, we’ve got to win this game, we’ve got to find a way to win the bowl game at the end of the day. Our mind has already shifted toward that.”