Jim Harbaugh has seen better days, but he’s not one to make excuses following Michigan’s disappointing 27-24 home loss to Michigan State. Any momentum gained from an impressive performance to open has evaporated and Harbaugh hopes his post-game chat with his team leads to recovery.
“I thought players on both side fought extremely hard. It’s a big game,” Harbaugh said after failing to deliver as a 22-point favorite. “Very emotional for all the players, that’s something that happens every year in this rivalry game.”
How the Wolverines respond remains to be seen, but Harbaugh’s message is simple — flush it and move on.
“The team is going to own this. Congratulations to Michigan State, but we’ve got to own the loss and come back and find out where we can improve,” Harbaugh said. “This is a high-character team, and I believe they’ll do just that. Each person looking at themself — player or coach, all of us — and strive to be a lot better. Try to find the places that we can make improvements.”
Saturday’s loss was a frustrating performance for a team that had appeared to turn the corner last weekend at Minnesota, moving closer to the Top 10 after an emphatic victory. But squandered opportunities for an offense that never found its rhythm and long scoring drive from the Spartans midway through the fourth quarter sealed the Wolverines’ fate and left many to question Harbaugh’s future in Ann Arbor.
Harbaugh’s contract expires after next season and last month, he was moot on sharing details of discussions.
The Michigan Insider’s Zach Shaw points out that the Wolverines were “out-coached and out-prepared in this game” and didn’t appear ready to earn a win over the Spartans. Unfortunately, that’s something that has happened far too often under the current regime and this time around, severely decreases Michigan’s shot at competing for a division crown this fall.