ANN ARBOR, Mich. — “I’ve never had a day like this in my career.” Though he may not have expected to beat No. 4 Michigan in The Big House, UConn’s first-year head coach, Jim Mora Jr., has overseen some high-quality teams.
Mora was the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks in the NFL, before taking a moribund UCLA Bruins team and bringing it to a respectable level a few years ago. He has a huge challenge in Storrs to overhaul perhaps the worst team in the Football Bowl Subdivision level.
After Michigan’s 59-0 drubbing of the Huskies, Mora spoke to reporters, and he said he knew before his team kicked off that they were in trouble on Saturday.
“I looked down in pregame warmup, it looked like an army down there,” Mora said. “They had so many players and they’re all great players. That’s why I don’t think — they are a contender for the national championship right now. It’s not in dispute in my opinion.”
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This is now the third straight game the Wolverines have met an overmatched opponent, and for the third straight game, the maize and blue have done precisely what they were supposed to: dominate convincingly and unrelentingly. You can criticize who Michigan has played, but you can’t criticize how it’s played.
Mora, of course, has a pretty good idea of what a championship team looks like, regardless of the team he brought to Ann Arbor. And what he saw on Saturday was a team with essentially no weaknesses.
“They have 140 players that are big, fast, strong, physical, well-coached,” Mora said. “They play with violence; they play with energy. They don’t miss tackles. They challenge you. They run the ball well. They pass the ball well. Their quarterback runs it well. They’ve got speed all over the field.”
We’ll know more in Week 4 when Michigan finally opens Big Ten play when it hosts Maryland. That game will kick off at noon EDT and will be Fox Sports’ premier game as “Big Noon Kickoff.”