ANN ARBOR, Mich. — It’s always the hot topic of conversation when a new Michigan football head coach comes around. However, when Sherrone Moore was introduced as the 21st head coach of the Wolverines, Ohio State wasn’t a focal point.
Perhaps it’s because the maize and blue have won three straight against the scarlet and gray, and the predecessors to Moore inherited a Michigan program coming off a series of losses to the Buckeyes. But Moore wasn’t asked once about the rival while on the podium during the primary press conference at his introduction. It was only when Wolverines Wire asked him in the ensuing scrum that Moore addressed the rivalry.
Given the onus placed on the OSU rivalry starting the offseason that led to 2021 season, and the success thereafter, it’s fair to wonder: Will the Wolverines still primarily focus on beating the Buckeyes on a daily basis? Moore assured the faithful that while he will change some things as he sees fit, that’s one thing that will remain the same.
“100%. I think when we did that, as a program, I think we saw the focus, the change, and that kind of shift in The Game,” Moore said. “And we’re gonna continue to do that with everything. Everything we do is working toward beating them.”
After the first of the string of three wins, former head coach Jim Harbaugh commented, “Some people are born on third base and act like they’ve hit a triple. But they didn’t.” In recent days when it became clear Moore would take over the head coaching job in Ann Arbor, many Buckeye fans misconstrued the quote, leaving out the part after ‘hit a triple.’ Harbaugh’s comment was likely due to Day’s behind-closed-doors comment that OSU was going to hang 100 on Michigan the next time they faced off.
Moore inherited a stellar program left behind by Harbaugh, but it has a great many holes coming off a national championship. Moore doesn’t believe he hit that proverbial triple, recognizing no iteration of The Game is a given.
“Obviously, we won the past few years, but that doesn’t give us an automatic for the next one,” Moore said. “So we’ve got to continue to work to do that.”
With a win against Ohio State already under his belt as the interim coach in 2023, Moore at least knows what it takes to win against the Buckeyes on game day. The next step for him as the bona fide head coach is to understand what it takes to work the rivalry every day.