Jim Harbaugh anticipates tough matchup with reeling Washington team

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Washington may be licking its wounds and limping into its Week 2 contest against Michigan, but that doesn’t mean that Jim Harbaugh is going to be taking the Huskies lightly.

UW was one of many Pac-12 schools who floundered in Week 1, with the Huskies losing to FCS team Montana at home on Saturday night. Still, Harbaugh notes this is a solid football team that will be playing in Ann Arbor come the weekend.

“So, watching this game, going back to the previous season as well — very good football team,” Harbaugh said. “Digging through them right now and have been — we’ve dedicated some practices in training camp to them — camp to them as well. Fine football team.”

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Though UW lost to the Griz, 13-7, Harbaugh isn’t looking at it as a reeling team entering the contest. Naturally, Michigan faced a team like that in Week 2 last year, when MSU came to town after losing to Rutgers and the longshot underdogs ended up taking down the Wolverines at home.

So the fact that Washington is licking its wounds — UW coach Jimmy Lake opened his Monday press conference with an apology to the fans for not playing ‘Husky football’ — means little should Michigan not take care of business.

The good news is that Harbaugh and the coaching staff have had their eyes on the Huskies for quite some time.

“I don’t think it’s relevant,” Harbaugh said. “You always think the first game is the second-hardest to prepare for, but the second game is even harder. Because both games will go back and work on — they know where they’re at, they go back and work on the things that they need to improve and they will. It’s a race to make those improvements in one week. Got a good idea that Washington has been preparing for us for a long time. It’s an important game for both teams so I think that makes that first game irrelevant. As it most always is, but as they say, especially in this second game scenario.”

On offense, Washington will be without wide receiver Ja’Lynn Polk, who was lost for the season after the first play from scrimmage on Saturday. Additionally, the other WR starters, Terrell Bynum and Rome Odunze, along with Jalen McMillen, are week-to-week with injuries of their own.

Aside from them, who does Harbaugh anticipate being problem matchups for the Wolverines?

“Defensively, their two corners are elite. (Inside linebacker Edefuan Ulofoshio) is a tackling machine,” Harbaugh said. “Quarterback (Dylan Morris) is really, really good, really efficient. Really good backs. It’s a solid team all the way around. Front seven and the secondary is really good.”

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