Michigan players lead coalition to defend The Big House in 2021

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan doesn’t lose at The Big House — except last year when the Wolverines went winless. Don’t expect that to happen again.

Sure, it was a weird season, with just three home games and no nonconference foes. This season will feature seven with two Mid-Athletic Conference schools against whom the Wolverines will be giant favorites. That’s not even mentioning that the maize and blue are expected winners, according to ESPN FPI, to beat Washington, Rutgers, Northwestern and Indiana at home, as well.

Beyond that, however, the 2021 iteration of Michigan Wolverines are making it a point to reverse course, and while it’s coach-driven, it’s much more player-driven, starting QB Cade McNamara says.

“All of us as a team we addressed it,” McNamara said. “Coach Harbaugh has spoken to us every day after practice, but the team, the players are what brought it up.”

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As a media member who is usually on the sidelines — of which I will be again for five of the seven home games — it was eerie, being up in a mostly empty press box in 2020, with either limited parents in the stands or no one at all, depending on the game. 2021 presents a return to normalcy, and Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is beyond eager to see Ann Arbor look as it usually does on fall Saturdays.

“I’m excited about it. To speak for myself – I think all our players are,” Harbaugh said. “I think Ann Arbor is. Most people I’ve talked to can’t wait to be back in that stadium. The only thing I could really compare it to is a Super Bowl environment. That many people, that many people around outside the game. Just everything that goes on. Tremendous thrill. Can’t wait!”

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That said, McNamara reiterates how important it is for the Wolverines to win games at home — which it’ll have an opportunity to do right out of the gates, given the schedule.

“Oh, it’s huge. Starting off the season with four in a row, that’s huge,” McNamara said. “We’re well aware (we didn’t win at home) last season. That was addressed when were in the stadium for practices during this camp. That’s frustrating. So we’re aware of it and we’re (going to keep that from) happening.”

Before 2020, Michigan under Jim Harbaugh had only lost to two teams at home — Ohio State (2015, 2017, 2019) and Michigan State (2015, 2017). Last season, the maize and blue succumbed to MSU in the home opener, had the worst home loss in history against Wisconsin, then lost a close one to then-winless Penn State.

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