Jim Harbaugh says his team has been overtaken, overtaken, exceeded after Michigan's full-time beating in Wisconsin, September 21, 2019.
Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press
The question was on everyone's mind:
Why did Michigan football look so uncertain after waiting a week at a 35-14 stop from No. 14 Wisconsin?
Jim Harbaugh's response: "We were superb."
The Michigan coach stopped and looked away for a few seconds, as if that was all he had to say. Then he continued.
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"Pre-emptive and pre-emptive. Outplayed. The whole thing. And insulting and protective. That was profound. their team, they have the ability … they are good enough to beat you thoroughly and that happened today. "
Harbaugh's words were not an exaggeration and this is the most worrying part about the Wolverines' loss.
Saturday's game was the debut of Michigan. the hope of winning the Big Ten and reaching the college football playoffs was completely dismantled.
U-M looked like a recovery team, not a contender.
Technically, this wasn't the worst loss in Hiring of Harbaugh in Michigan, thanks to a couple of delays. But it was bad. Perhaps worse than the 29-point loss to Penn State in 2017. Or the 23-point beating in Ohio last fall.
Because now is the 5th year of the Harbaugh era and the Werewolves have somehow stepped back. This was not expected by anyone, but it is a harsh reality.
Michigan has no identity in the crime – players have admitted it. Harbaugh would rather run and pass the ball equally; instead, the offense has been completely unbalanced in the last two games, choosing to run or go in heavy doses with little efficiency.
Perhaps we should expect increasing pain with a new crime. But so far, the costs of transition far outweigh any benefit.
The werewolves are not yet sufficiently targeted at their playmakers; before the fourth quarter against Wisconsin, receiver Nico Collins had only one target. (Wasn't this the point of a new breach? Aim for speed in space?) Meanwhile, Michigan's game is moving back from last fall. Essentially with the same offensive line, the Wolves gained 320 yards and rushed in a 38-13 rumble over the Badgers in 2018. On Saturday, they only collected 40.
That doesn't stop there.
[ Jim Harbaugh’s fire is missing. U-M football won’t recover without it ]
The protection does not have the same juice as in previous years. And while this could have been foreseen months ago, when Michigan lost a number of starters to the NFL draft, the loss of that big step was unexpected. The werewolves couldn't stop the Badgers game, no matter how many different layouts they used on Saturday. And while other Big Ten teams lack Jonathan Taylor, they now know how to beat Michigan by attacking the middle of the defense.