What Jim Harbaugh said about Michigan football before Maryland

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan is now sitting at 9-1 on the season after this week’s win at Penn State, and Jim Harbaugh is still smiling after securing the victory in Happy Valley. There was a lot to like about the way the Wolverines managed to win, and they won it in a way that is a reflection of their head coach.

But Maryland’s dynamic passing offense is forthcoming with Ohio State up after that.

Now that Week 11 is in the books, the Wolverines are readying a trip to College Park for the second-straight road game. Here is everything Jim Harbaugh had to say in the lead-up to the Week 12 matchup.

List

Predicting the Week 12 College Football Playoff rankings

What has Rod Moore done to be able to see the field recently?

“He’s a really good player. He’s developed well. Student of the game. On-field, I think his best attribute is he’s in the right places. He’s got a talent in space to get people on the ground. Really good tackler. You can just tell how much he was studying from the beginning of training camp. The hours he was putting in on his iPad watching tape was the most of anybody on the team.”

How did he do vs. Penn State?

“Good. Yeah. He was in the right spots and you saw him make some of his open-field tackles, getting guys on the ground.”

Does it feel like a great weekend?

“Yeah, it was. Just overall, it was just a great football experience had by all last Saturday. The game being in an iconic venue, two tremendous academic institutions competing against each other. They were knocking each other down, each was getting back up and making plays. For three and a half hours that was going on. At the end of the contest, there was a winner and a non-winner. But the biggest winner was the game of football.”

What's the timeline for Blake Corum's return?

“It’s when he returns. Timeline? I don’t have a timeline for you, if that’s what you’re asking. No, there’s not a timeline.”

Hassan Haskins decleated a pass rusher. Thoughts on that part of his game?

“I think you can talk about every part of Hassan Haskins’ game and refer to it as excellent, outstanding — every single phase. Can talk about records and I haven’t done this, but how many times he’s picked up a first down and how many times he picked up a first down in that game. How many times he’s picked up a first down all season — I don’t know if they keep that stat. Yards after contact, I know they keep that one, but I know he’s really good. Pass protection: outstanding; catching the ball out of the backfield: that’s a real strength of his, running with the ball after the catch is one that we’re gonna keep using more and more because it’s effective. Just getting the ball into his hands, or, more to your point, when the ball isn’t in his hands, he’s a blocker and he’s extremely good at that. My feeling after the game is that Hassan is the type of player that wants to and has the will and the ability to put the team on his back and after watching the tape of the game, it was just as conclusive, just as evident.”

What about DJ Turner's mental makeup makes him a good cornerback?

“DJ’s having an outstanding season. His coverage has been very good. He’s made physical plays. He’s an ascending player all the way. Ball skills — had a great interception on the year, he’s had PBUs, returned punts. That checks that. He’s a fiery competitor. Just really, really all good things for DJ Turner.”

Is Cade McNamara the long-term starting QB for Michigan football?

“He’s done nothing but be outstanding as the starting quarterback. This past game I think was also just another step, another in his evolution, his growth as a football player. Fourth-quarter comeback, those are special. The physical play, talk about being knocked down — us knocking them down, them knocking us down, that was our quarterback — and getting right back up.

“And also Sean Clifford — I’ve gotta say Sean Clifford really was impressive in the football game. The amount of times we knocked him down, it was multiple. Had some really tough, aggressive hits — for him to bounce back the way he did, for him to come back and make some of the throws that he made, that was really impressive. We have really talented pass rushers, well-documented — David Ojabo and Aidan Hutchinson — and they had tremendous games. And also Penn State’s outside backers, defensive ends — 40 and 17 — they were really good, too. It was a real battle out there. Both sides really battled in this game. Both teams I thought were a credit to football.”

What are this team's championship traits?

“I do believe they have those traits. I think they’re developing them. I know when I’m there on the sidelines, just the togetherness that our football team has. They’re for each other. I’m sure it probably comes through on the TV — there’s people that watch the game say they saw the same thing coming through the TV, the excitement that our team has and the togetherness.”

How does Saturday rank among Aidan Hutchinson's best games?

“Really, really great performance. Aidan Hutchinson just continues to be relentless. Tackling, pass-rushing, and when you go back and look at the tape, he’s also getting held a lot. He’s powering through those like Hassan goes through tackles. It’s really impressive. He’s a great player. And you’d be happy to know that he practices the exact same way every single day.”

What makes Taulia Tagovailoa and the Maryland pass offense formidable?

“They’ve got a great scheme. Taulia is a dynamic thrower. He is — it’s fun to watch. We’ve been watching it in cross-over games. We watch it in the quarterback room a lot when we’re watching the opponent we’re about to play. He just deals it. It has been fun to watch up until this point and now we’ve gotta defend it. He’s got really talented receivers — a couple of them have gotten hurt, but others are stepping in. It’s a really good passing game.”

What has Mike Macdonald's late play calls said about his coaching philosophy?

“He’s just down-to-down trying to put our team in the best position to defend the down. He’s really well prepared. Think he’s really growing in knowing our team and our personnel. He’s got it down now. He’s really dialed in and everybody around, everybody’s confident. When he says ‘let’s roll,’ let’s roll. That mentality.”

Why didn't J.J. McCarthy play vs. Penn State?

“That’s just the way the game went. I know you want — like Rainer wants a story here, something definitive. Cade had a great game, Cade was playing well. And we rolled with Cade. As far as long-term, who’s going to be, that prediction, everyone rents that position, nobody owns the position, any position on the field. Not even the head coach. You lease, at best.”

What does he say to the team have keep the focus on Maryland with Ohio State looming?

“It’s just what we’ve been doing. It’s the next game up. You’ve gotta — you’re in a playoff mindset. You’re in a mentality of you have to win. If you don’t win, you’re gonna be out of the championship race.”

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