CLOSING

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. "

<img itemprop =" url "src =" https://www.gannett-cdn.com /presto/2019/09/21/PDTF/eb28e4b8-9e86-4dae-888e-cba98aeeb431-AP_Michigan_Wisconsin_Footba_1.jpg?width=540&height=&fit=bounds&auto=webp "alt =" Jim Harbo talks with receiver Dover in the morning vs. Wisconsin. [19659009] Jim Harbaugh talks to receiver Donovan Nars-Jones in the first halftime against Wisconsin. (Photo: Andy Manis, AP)

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.

[ Here's what we learned from a blowout loss in Michigan, Wisconsin]

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.

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Last SlideNext Slide [19659025] However, the most striking inadequacy of all was UM's unpreparedness. The werewolves were the gates of the gate. The defense blasted tasks and missed decisions. He called the offense a timeout in his second game of the game, as it does not line up on time.

And noticeably, Michigan is struggling to cope with adversity. The werewolves seemed to break up after Ben Mason's first quarter to hit the second and goal. They were not the same after this game and did not reach the red zone again until they were reduced by 35 points.

"It happened as a big turnover when we first got there in the red zone – such people killed us," Nick Eubanks said. "And then they just kept the momentum going."

No more excuses. Harbaugh coached 55 games in Michigan, but is 4-11 against the top 15 teams. He designed the list. The whole program really – from assistant coaches to out-of-the-box analysts. But he's never been a coach in a Big Ten championship game.

The Athletic Department provided him with all the resources he could.

This makes Saturday's loss so antagonizing to fans. They've seen it before, and every time they do, it takes away their confidence that Harbaugh can bring Michigan back to the top of college football.

Can you blame them?

Album: What's wrong with football in Michigan? Wisconsin Everything

Contact Orion Sang at osang@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @orion_sang . Read more about Michigan Wolverines and sign up for our Wolverines Newsletter.


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