Ohio State Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh Comment Count

Adam Schnepp November 26th, 2017 at 11:14 AM

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[Upchurch]

Do you regret not going for it or—excuse me, let me rephrase this. Do you regret not punting on 4th and 4 in the fourth quarter instead of going for it and possibly pinning the Buckeyes deep in their own territory?

“We had a good play called. Wish we could have executed it better but wanted to be aggressive, wanted to attack there. Now, we don’t pick it up, easy to say wish we would have punted it, but… I felt good with the call. Felt good with the decision.”

John [was] real emotional just a minute ago talking about how much this game meant for the senior class and not being able to get it done. Can you assess his performance and the emotions that go into this game as well?

“Yeah, emotional game played by emotional guys. I have the same regret. Wish the seniors could have gone out with the win.”

You had it rolling at 14-0. What, in your mind, changed after that?

“Think both teams played well. They made plays, we made plays. They made—that was their part of the ballgame where they cracked a few runs and the quarterback got out and made a play. We had a few mistakes offensively, we had a few mistakes defensively and… think we had a few more than they did.”

[After THE JUMP: what happened on the interception; DPJ: do-stuff-right guy; how close Peters was to going]

Can you talk about Donovan’s punt return and the spark that that gave you?

“Yeah, it was a great effort by all on the punt return team and a heck of a play by Donovan. He’s been really, really good. Spectacular at times. As a true freshman, that speaks volumes about what kind of player he is to be able to go out there and make plays in his very first year. Just a consummate guy. Really glad he’s on our team. Just does everything right. He’s a do-stuff-right guy in all phases. One of our most favorite players.”

Can you say how close Brandon Peters was to playing? Did it go right down to the end of the week? O’Korn said he was told Monday he would be starting? Was there still a possibility?

“Um, there…no. The symptoms were there all week with Brandon, so there was no time that he got to practice, and he wasn’t cleared for the ballgame.”

For O’Korn, the ball was sailing, it seemed, or overthrown. Can you comment on how difficult it looked for him out there today?

“Um…no, I know we missed a few. But to comment on the degree of difficulty…yeah, there was some wind, but got to hit ‘em.”

What were the challenges of facing Dwayne Haskins and were they unique compared to JT Barrett?

“That’d probably be a better question for the guys that were out there. I mean, he got out on one play. There was some good play by us and some mistakes made and a couple times we did let the quarterback get out, whether it was JT or Haskins.”

A lot of talk about a lifetime contract coming. Could that be a distraction for you this week or your team?

“No. Fake news. [laughs] That was irrelevant.”

You were up 14-0 when Metellus dropped that interception and Barrett scored the next play. Just how crucial of a sequence do you think that was?

“Yeah, that would have been big. Yeah, you know, there were some mistakes made. That was one of ‘em. There was others. Missed an extra point. There were a few. Lot of good plays and then mistakes. I thought our guys played with great effort and we’ve got to get better, we’ve got to get stronger, we’ve got to improve. We’ll continue that on Monday.”

You mentioned you’ve got to improve as you head into bowl prep and you head into an offseason. What have you learned about your team? I know it’s right after the game but what did you learn about your team this week and what’d you learn about the team all season as it’s kind of gone through some ups and downs and in-betweens here?

“I mean, they’re fighters. They work, they don’t complain, they don’t whine, and I love coaching them. And that’s going to continue; we’re going to keep going on the same demanding, punishing path and keep improving. Keep getting stronger.”

Any time you lose to a rival I imagine it’s disappointing but especially so because it looked like you had a gameplan that worked; there were open plays [and] you did have the lead on them. Does that add to the disappointment when you might have had them for a while there?

“I don’t know about levels of disappointment but yeah, wish…wish we could have won. Wish we could have sent the seniors out with a victory. I know one thing they did: They gave it everything they had and played extremely, extremely hard. Great bunch of guys. Great bunch of guys to coach. Great character guys. Great football character, great character. Yeah, so it’s disappointing.”

On the last interception, what did you see on that play? John said he thought he had something there and overthrew it.

“Yeah…John misread the coverage and, uh, Kekoa was running the---he had a route. Run a deep, deep, deep curl versus single-high safety and post for low quarters or Cov2 and John didn’t see the safety rotate to the middle of the field. It was a misread coverage.”

I’ve heard you mention a couple times today ‘got to get stronger.’ Is that something you’ve noticed throughout the year? Is that just because they’re young or is that something you want to emphasize in the offseason, got to get stronger, bigger, whatever it might be?

“Yeah, we’ve been emphasizing it. Need to do that. Need improvement. Need to get stronger. Need to get better. That’s our mission.”

Comments

Kevin Holtsberry

November 26th, 2017 at 6:45 PM ^

but it is a fact.  Ohio State has been recruiting lights out and has athletes all over the field. Even when they struggle they seem to have a player step up and do what it takes to win close games.  Michigan is behind and just needs to keep getting better players and developing those players.  Get better, stronger, faster, etc.

Nothing quite came together with this team this year against a quality opponent for more than a quarter or two but at times they looked quite good (QB & OL being the most problematic).  But taking this teams talent and adding experience and more coaching means getting better.  Adding more high end talent every year means getting better.  That is the only way to compete at the top of college football.  This wasnt a game lost by x's and o's.  At some critical moments Ohio State just played better; better players in critical positions.

Harbaugh is getting those players and putting them in position to win.  But this year he didn't have the talent or the experience to make it work.  Just have to get better.

Amaznbluedoc

November 26th, 2017 at 8:57 PM ^

Point well taken and when JT went down, Haskins came in and arguably played just as good, if not better.  For that, I have to congratulate ohio.  Hopefully, with time we can achieve that depth. 

From a larger perspective, the only game we were resoundly beaten was psu.  To think that we had both wisky and ohio on the ropes and these chumps are playing for the B10 championship is just infuriating.

Leonhall

November 26th, 2017 at 7:06 PM ^

Game plan. We should have no fear of osu anymore, we could easily have taken the last two games in the series. They have a ton of talent but it seems as if we get them on the coaching side imo. Doesn't mean urban is a bad coach, I just don't think he gives them an advantage.

M-Dog

November 27th, 2017 at 4:07 AM ^

Surpreme athletes at QB is what gives them their biggest advantage.

Unfortunately, they have a stockpile of those.  To Meyer's credit, he has a system and the recruiting to be able to just plug those guys in there every year.

Don Brown can slow them down somewhat, but we will always have to consistently score in the 30's to beat Ohio State.

 

WolverineMan1988

November 27th, 2017 at 10:20 AM ^

I agree that you're probably never going to shut OSU's offense down completely, but with Harbaugh's offensive game plan, scoring in the 30s would not have been that hard with a QB who can execute easy throws and make correct reads. I was at the game and it sickened me to think how much of a difference Peters could have made. The plays were there to be made. On both sides of the ball for that matter.

Sextus Empiricus

November 26th, 2017 at 7:18 PM ^

we're due for a change in luck. 

Bring on the bowl game. 

I'm up for traveling to see these guys out.  Not a great season but the effort was there.  I will miss Hurst's tummy rubs.  More to come in the NFL for sure.

 

Blueblood80

November 26th, 2017 at 7:42 PM ^

Coach called a fantastic game and threw in little wrinkles to same looks they have given all season long. Hell, they even shortened the passes to help Okorn hit some. Unfortunately, he didn’t hit enough and threw a costly pick at the end. I no longer think the receivers are not getting separation. There were guys WIDE open all day long. The pass pro was adequate enough as well. I may be in the minority but coaching is NOT the problem. I walked back to the car not nearly as down as years past. I see a bright future ahead. Sucks we had to lose to those bums again but I’m looking forward to a much more experienced team next year (yep, I said it).

Amaznbluedoc

November 26th, 2017 at 8:54 PM ^

Well, JH and staff had the guys pumped and ready to play.  The first quarter was nothing short of phenomenal as was most of the second and some of the third.  The WR's need to learn how to go up for balls and get separation and this is particularly important moving forward.  The play call at 2.45, down by 4 in the 4th, was IMHO just incredulous especially with the d alignment.  Yes, JOK made a bad read and throw, but the call should have never been made.  Period.  And that I attribute to the OC's.

Carcajou

November 27th, 2017 at 3:50 AM ^

I agree. Option/read routes requiring passer and receiver to see the same thing and respond correctly- especially in the middle of the field- is not necessarily the easiest thing to do in the heat of battle. All year, Michigan has had questionable WR play; questionable vison, decision making and execution by the QB; and questionable protection which affects the timing of the play, but also the vision of the QB and windows available. In that situation, better to eliminate such variables.

bhinrichs

November 27th, 2017 at 9:11 AM ^

I thought when he became the 49ers coach JH initially did that for Alex Smith (taking out most options and greatly simplifying the reads and always having a dump-off) which really helped AS rejuvinate his career (I guess he had a reputation for throwing interceptions?).

Maybe the coaches went as simple as they thought they could get away with and thought they needed this kind of complexity to keep the OSU defense off balance?

Bigly yuge

November 26th, 2017 at 10:07 PM ^

JOK said that he felt the team got complacent after going up 14-0. I can’t fathom how anyone on our team would be complacent against a team that has had our number for the last 15 years. This team needs to develop a killer instinct, especially against rivals. It seems like we have such thin skin so to speak. At the first sign of adversity we seem to fold. We need to thrive on adversity, and allow it to strengthen our teams resolve.

Even though so am disappointed with how this season turned out, I am really excited for the 2018 season.

RJWolvie

November 27th, 2017 at 12:31 PM ^

they got complacent. OSU is pretty damn good (not top-4 great, but top-10, and what happened after that 14-0 punch in the mouth we gave them was that they woke up and punched back.

What was as impressive as that opening punch in my mind was that we took their counter and pushed back into the lead after the half.

A loss is a loss is a loss, and it sucks beyond believe that we’re like 3-17 vs our rivals in last 10 years, (gawd, that hurt just to type,) but there was also a heck of a lot to look at and find encouraging for the going forward. Way better than any time since this slide began

Red Dragon

November 27th, 2017 at 9:41 AM ^

I want Harbaugh to succeed as much as anyone.

I’m not expecting him to give specifics, but I hope he’s got an actual plan other than “getting stronger and getting better”.

If not, I’ll come in and do what he’s doing for half his salary.

RJWolvie

November 27th, 2017 at 12:23 PM ^

to 28-10 (18-8 Big10)?

1 win vs MSU & 1 versus Fickel’s OSU previous 7 years, most of those 12 losses uncompetitive, more than a few horribly embarrassingly so, to 1 win already in first 6 games vs them and 2-3 others damn shitty can-we-get-a-friggin-break losses?

Yeah, what’s the guy been doing, other than Herculean success in righting the ship and heading us back on track? I mean, jeebers, he’s got that 40th ranked transition recruitment class all the way to juniors / redshirt sophomores this year and he can’t beat his rivals yet? You’re right, he’s done nothing...