Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said that after the Wolverines’ home defeat to # 13 Wisconsin on Saturday, everything for his 1-3 team needs to be reevaluated.
According to ESPN Stats & Information Research, Michigan’s 38-point loss was the biggest loss since 1935, when it fell 38-0 to arch-rivals Ohio State. The Wolverines lost their third game in a row and had their worst start since 1967.
Wisconsin had big advantages over Michigan in terms of yards (468-219), rushing yards (341-47), first downs (26-10), total games (73-45), and ball possession time (40: 15-19: 45). . Michigan threw interceptions on their first two possessions and fell back 28-0 against Wisconsin for the second year in a row. The game was Wisconsin’s largest profit margin against Michigan and the most the Badgers have scored against the Wolverines.
Wisconsin has won five of its last seven meetings with Michigan.
“As a football team, it’s not a good place right now and that’s up to me,” said Harbaugh. “I really have to get back to basics after everything we do and look at everything we do. Everyone has to do better. I’m at the forefront of accountability.”
Harbaugh said every element of the team was “nowhere near where it should be”. After a season opening win against Minnesota and a narrow loss to Michigan State, Michigan was beaten 87-33 in the last two weeks.
“It can only be these three things: what you do, how you do it, who does it,” said the Michigan coach in his sixth year. “We have to look at all of these things now. At the moment I would say that all three need to be addressed.”
Harbaugh put most of the blame on himself and the coaches but said no one is doing an acceptable job right now.
“What stands out the most is the coaching … making it happen [the players] I have an understanding of what to do and so you can try, “he said.” Because there seems to be hesitation, there seems to be some confusion, some lack of communication on both sides of the ball, offensive and defensive, and adjusting things, fixing things, just figuring out how to improve in those areas are some of the first things that we will address. “
Wolverine’s quarterback Joe Milton had his first pass deflected and intercepted by Wisconsin’s security Scott Nelson. Milton threw his second pass directly to Leo Chenal of Wisconsin, who returned the ball 31 yards and set up the Badgers’ second touchdown.
“This is something we really need to look out for,” said Harbaugh. “Did Joe get the keys? Where was he looking? Threw a ball straight at another guy.”
Cade McNamara replaced Milton, making four of seven passes for 74 yards and Michigan’s only touchdown, a 23-yard pass for Mike Sainristil late in the third quarter.
Michigan’s defense didn’t fare much better as he didn’t record a snack and only counted one sack. According to ESPN Stats & Information data, Michigan reached halftime on Saturday and became the first Big Ten team in the past 15 seasons to not have a sack or snack in five consecutive halves.
“It just makes everyone do it consistently,” said Wolverine’s defender Carlo Kemp. “Who knows what next Saturday’s got? We could be in a dogfight. We could win a lot, lose a lot. Nobody knows. But it’s those critical moments when it’s Saturday and you’re on the sidelines and hold everyone in the game no matter what, and fight to the end and keep playing.
“Am I worried? No. We’ve shown for the past three weeks – even though the result wasn’t what we wanted at all – that we’re still here. We play, we finish games, we play for everyone else.”
Michigan is expected to play at Rutgers on Saturday. Harbaugh stressed that the Wolverines must win “by all means”.
Harbaugh hopes to “identify the players who are proud, proud of their personal accomplishments, and who want to fight like the hell for Michigan”.