ANN ARBOR, MI — Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh met with reporters on Monday for his weekly press conference. He previewed Saturday’s matchup with No. 2 Ohio State, provided some updates on his team, and more.
Following Harbaugh, Saturday’s head coach Sherrone Moore took to the podium. The highlights of everything they had to say can be found below.
- “Ohio Week. Very exciting.”
- On where his respect level is for Ryan Day and the OSU staff? “It’s all about our preparation for Ohio. The days, the minutes, the hours. Everything leading up to this game, that’s where our focus is. Preparing ourselves and planning. Anything else is irrelevant when you get into this kind of big game week.”
- How does he prepare the coaches for the extra duties in a game like this? It’s a battle-tested team. He’s empowered people, both coaches and players. They’ve done an amazing job. After a while, the outside noise is like a deafening siren that you eventually begin to tolerate it and then block it out. You just keep your priorities straight.
- It was his idea to elevate Rick Minter to replace fired linebackers coach Chris Partridge. He declined to add anything further on Partridge’s dismissal, saying that the school put out a statement and addressed the situation.
- Asked about why he and the school decided to accept the Big Ten’s three-game punishment? The school put out a statement about that.
- How are they handling that high-pitch siren so well? “So proud of our team. Despite that noise, our locker room’s in one piece.” Quoting Ted Lasso, Harbaugh said he likes his locker rooms like his mom’s bathing suit — in one piece. This team is battle tested and ready to go. “It’s all about Ohio.”
- The challenges of being successful the last few weeks? “Stay on course.” “Staying on the high road.”
- On if there will be any other coaches being let go or anything like that? “We are in position to be in position. That’s what we know. We’re 11-0. They’re 11-0.”
- Is it difficult not being able to defend yourself? Like that siren, “It’s ear-piercing at first and then you block it out.” How do you tolerate it? “Staying on the high road is one way to shorten that time down.”
- How much is this game going to determine the future of the program? “Don’t have a crystal ball.”
- On his own future? All of the focus is on Ohio State. That’s part of the life lesson for everybody — focus on the task ahead of you.
- Marvin Harrison, Jr. reminds him of Marvin Harrison, Sr. What’s the key to slowing him down? Everything works together. The pass rush is important. The more pressure they can put on the quarterback, the better the coverage is going to be.
- The Ohio State offense is electric and balanced. The offensive line is jelling at the right time. The receivers make plays, and Kyle McCord is playing his best football of the year.
- The offseason preparation is where the process began for handling the adversity they’re now experiencing. Everybody leans on each other.
- Will Moore be meeting with Harbaugh more this week since it’s a big game? He will seek that out more than Harbaugh will. He will lean on Harbaugh more and more, but it’s all about the players and making sure they’re ready.
- Receiver Roman Wilson and offensive linemen LaDarius Henderson, and Myles Hinton should all be back this week after dealing with injuries last week. Quarterback JJ McCarthy is feeling the best he’s felt in a while.
- Is the outside noise a motivation? Kids use that stuff on their own anyway. There’s not a lot you have to do with stuff like that.
- Asked what this game means for the future of the program, Moore said the focus was only on attacking today.
- What would a win on Saturday mean? We all know what it means. It’s the game. The kids are as prepared physically and mentally as they’ll ever be.
- What has he told right tackle Karsen Barnhart who has had some struggles recently? You’re gonna have bad days. Forget it and fight on.
- On balancing the playmaking JJ McCarthy but not wanting mistakes or turnovers? “Just let him be him. Can’t put the handcuffs on him.”