MADISON, Wisconsin – Michigan suffered one of its worst losses to Jim Harbaugh on Saturday after Wisconsin defeated the Wolverines 35-14 at Camp Randall Stadium.
In what was meant to be a game that would help answer questions about Michigan's Rapid Breach and pushing Michigan into the Big Ten Championship debate, more questions were asked as Harbaugh and his team are left to seek a solution.
"We were out of the game, prepared, trained, everything. "Harbo said." It was both insulting and defensive. You know, we knew this about their team and they have the ability.
"They're good enough, if they play well enough, they're good enough to beat you hard, and that's what happened today."
Wisconsin's defense ruled out Michigan's first-half offense and led 28-0 , which was the first time the Wolverines gave up 28 halftime since October 1
Paterson was replaced by backup Dylan McCaffrey after the first half, but McCaffrey left the game in the third quarter with what Harbaugh said was a concussion after hitting a helmet called a penalty.
"I won't comment on it," Harbaugh said. "But it seemed like it was clearing out for him [after the game]."
The offense had a goodbye week to prepare for this game after struggling with turnovers and problems moving the ball in Week 2 against the army. Bye-bye week was supposed to help remedy these problems, but it was obvious that these were long-term problems, not easy fixes.
So much so that Nick Eubanks believes that the team, including the crime, has not yet been identified.
Four weeks into the season and two poor performances, the no-frills offense ended this game against Wisconsin with 40 rushing yards and 259 passing yards. "The Wolverines only kicked the ball 19 times with nine yards as the longest running game.
"I believe our crime is not as consistent as we hoped it would be," Eubanks said. "But through the next few practices, we will find that identity and find that rhythm."
It's not just the insult he has to find that identity, as the defense allowed Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor to run all over the field with 143 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter.
Led by RB star Jonathan Taylor, the Wisconsin dams jump to a 28-0 lead on the way to a dominant victory over the Michigan Wolves.
Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson was visibly upset at the post-game press conference after the defense was presented and promised that the team would improve.
"Right now the point of the season. We had our first Big Ten game, we're losing it, so now we're backing up against the wall," Hutchinson said. "We just have to fight to get out of this situation, who we are, and we will. I am confident.
Michigan has a hard sheet from Iowa, Michigan, Penn State, Notre Dame and Ohio State is still on the schedule and will have to handle more than a fight to get through this glove.
The Werewolves are now 4-11 against the top 15 teams under Harbaugh after this loss, including 0-8 on the road and neutral site games. In order to complete the way this team hopes, Michigan will have to find the answer and find it quickly.
"It is up to us to find our identity, though we have a game to play next Saturday," Eubanks said. "We need to find it quickly. We know the type of season, it's a long season. It's a gut check, but we need to be able to take advantage of it."