The Wolverine

September 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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26 THE WOLVERINE SEPTEMBER 2021 BY JOHN BORTON M ichigan began the 2020 football season with a bang. The Wolverines rumbled past Minnesota, 49-24, in Minneapolis, garnering huge plaudits from hopeful fans. It might have marked the last round of praise they heard all year. Redshirt junior defensive tackle Donovan Jeter recalled the one-week coronation, and a lesson learned for him and his teammates. "After the Minnesota game, we were feeling ourselves a little too much," Jeter said. "All the praise on social media and from wherever else … we started feeling ourselves. In college football, you can't do that." From that point on, they felt little but pain and distress, tail-spinning into a 2-4 year in a COVID-truncated season. Obviously, getting a little cocky after a strong opening-day out- ing didn't cause all that. There were small matters like los- ing both starting offensive tackles to injury, doing the same with a pair of NFL-caliber defensive ends, etc. There was inexperience and ul- timately a change at quarterback, and a caved-in defense that allowed nearly 35 points a game. Michigan State shocked the Wol- verines at Michigan Stadium one week after the opening-night gid- diness. From there, almost nothing went right. A revamped coaching staff, and a roster presumably hardened by the difficult experience 2020 presented, isn't taking anything for granted. The Wolverines also haven't had to worry about too much hype, Jeter quipped. "We haven't been getting many compliments for last year," he dead- panned. "It wasn't a compliment- filled year." His team would like to make 2021 praise-worthy, even if the Wolverines refuse to listen if it comes. They be- lieve it can happen, even while those put off by last year's struggles wonder why. Head coach Jim Harbaugh revamped his coaching staff this offseason, and he and his assistants have instilled a new attitude into the Wolverines this year. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL ANGLING FOR ASCENSION Wolverines Identify Why They Think They'll Be Better In 2021

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