Michigan football players set to hold player-led meeting in aftermath of MSU

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Don’t let one loss turn into two, that’s crucial for Michigan football.

There are four games left on the schedule: Indiana, at Penn State, at Maryland, and Ohio State. Despite the loss to Michigan State on Saturday, the Wolverines could end up with a stellar season, even if a loss to a rival tarnishes things a bit. But there’s still a lot left to play for.

Michigan players do have a ‘leadership council’ where the team leaders meet and determine the direction of the team from a player side of things. They’ve decided to hold the team’s third player-led meeting since the season started on Monday to make sure that there’s no slipping up from here, now that there is one loss on the books.

“Just us making sure that we relay the message to the team that we’re still in this,” junior wide receiver Mike Sainristil said. “There’s no need to worry. We just have to bounce back and take this past weekend for what it is. Go over film and just correct our mistakes and learn where we can get better to improve and dominate the rest of the season.”

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Really, the point of the meeting is to make sure everyone is aligned in their vision, to ensure that when Indiana comes to town on Saturday, no one is hanging their heads after the MSU loss, and thus costing the team its potential future.

“I’m expecting the message to be we’re still in it,” third-year edge rusher Mike Morris said. “It doesn’t matter if we lost or not, we’ve been here before. It’s not an issue with us. So I’m not really worried about it. I just want everybody on the team to be on the same page.”

No, Saturday’s game did not go as expected, but there’s still reason to believe Michigan is on the right track.

Though the defense in the second half struggled against the run game, it had a good first half. The passing game came alive, and if the Wolverines could get out of their own way when it comes to scoring touchdowns after driving the field — an issue for much of the season — then it certainly would have won in East Lansing going away.

So the players on the leadership council don’t see any reason to let up now. It may be a devastating loss, but it is just one loss. Win out, and it’s soon to be forgotten.

“I just really don’t think there’s any reason to lose confidence,” Sainristil said. “We know who we are, we know our identity. We just have to keep practicing harder and understand that our level of execution has to increase to get to where we want to be.”

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What Jim Harbaugh said after Michigan State, before Indiana