The Wolverine

September 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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48 THE WOLVERINE SEPTEMBER 2019 J im Harbaugh was excited to bring his 2019 team out for the first time Aug. 2, and he was not disappointed after seeing his team's first few prac- tices. The first walk to the field was as exciting as it's ever been for him, he said on Barstool Sports' "Pardon My Take" podcast Aug. 5. "The favorite part is the smell of the grass, the fresh-cut grass, when you come out in the morning, the sun rising," Harbaugh said. "The cleats clanking on the cement. It's a rebirth." Many are picking the Wolverines to win the Big Ten for the first time since Harbaugh arrived in 2015, which would be the program's first since 2004. The stakes are high, but Har- baugh hasn't backed down on his Big Ten Media Days statement that he, too, would pick U-M first in the conference. "The pressure, we look at it as a challenge," Harbaugh said. "… This is a bold beginning, a new season. We've done a lot of good. We haven't made the playoffs and beaten Ohio State. "Our goal here is to win multiple championships; our goal is to win the next game for us, and the last game for us defines the season. We have big goals, big aspirations." U-M is 0-4 against the Buckeyes in Harbaugh's tenure, losing a pair of tight games between two blowouts. "It defines the season, but there are also 11 important games in front of that that dictate whether you win the Big Ten championship and whether you go to the playoffs, and the last game defines the entire season," Har- baugh said. In addition, he said, he believes he has got a special team. "It's a young and enthusiastic team, but a very experienced team," he said. "We're really good at the quarterback position, really good up front on the offensive line. "I think people are going to be surprised how good we are on the defensive line because we lost quite a few good players, but we've got some really good young players I'm excited to see … maybe the fastest defensive line we've had." Michigan opens the season Aug. 31 with a night game against Middle Tennessee State. — Chris Balas HARBAUGH: SKIPPING BOWL GAMES AFFECTS PLAYERS' LEGACIES Jim Harbaugh had a handful of players sit out the Peach Bowl last year, including some of his best in the Michigan Wolverines' loss to Florida. Harbaugh said on Barstool Sports' "Pardon My Take" podcast Aug. 5 it hurts a player's legacy to skip bowl games or at least denied them the op- portunity to add to it. "I do [think it hurts the game], and I think it hurts somebody's ac-   MICHIGAN FOOTBALL Jim Harbaugh Remains Bullish On His 2019 Wolverines Harbaugh knows nobody is happy with his 0-4 record against Ohio State and even admitted "the last game for us defines the season" on Barstool Sports' "Pardon My Take" podcast in early August. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN 2019 MICHIGAN FOOTBALL SCHEDULE Date Opponent (TV) Time (ET) Aug. 31 Middle Tennessee State (BTN) 7:30 p.m. Sept. 7 Army (FOX) Noon Sept. 21 at Wisconsin* (FOX) Noon Sept. 28 Rutgers* (TBA) TBA Oct. 5 Iowa*^ (TBA) Noon Oct. 12 at Illinois* (ABC/ESPN/ESPN2) TBA Oct. 19 at Penn State* (TBA) TBA Oct. 26 Notre Dame (ABC/ESPN/ESPN2) TBA Nov. 2 at Maryland* (TBA) Noon Nov. 16 Michigan State* (TBA) TBA Nov. 23 at Indiana* (TBA) TBA Nov. 30 Ohio State* (FOX) Noon Dec. 7 Big Ten Championship Game$ (FOX) TBA * Big Ten game; ^ Homecoming; $ at Indianapolis

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