The Wolverine

2022 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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"They didn't fall to pieces. There were plenty of opportunities, because of Ohio State's greatness. Recent Michigan teams have found a way to not live up to the mo- ment. They said, 'No, not this year. We're not doing this again.' And they executed. "They just had enough of getting punched in the face." Emotional Reactions, And The Future Dr. Hutchinson has experienced great suc- cesses, from winning five straight Big Ten championships as a Michigan player to wit- nessing COVID survivors as an emergency room physician. But the triumph over the Buckeyes — with a son intimately involved — proved tough to fully describe. "I still get goosebumps now, just talking about it," Hutchinson said. "There was one image, that Chris Fowler said was probably his favorite moment of the entire college football year. "At the beginning of the year, Aidan said 'I'm willing to die for this.' He put every- thing on the line. He came back for his se- nior year when he easily could have been a high draft pick. "The game is over, and his helmet is off. They have this slow-mo on Fox, where he's thrusting his fists into the air and crying. That, to me, is what college football is all about. A kid who stayed another year, helped his team overcome adversity, helped his team do something that hadn't been done in such a long time, and the raw, pure emotion of it just overwhelms him." Keeping it going won't be easy. All agreed it will involve replicating — and in some ways, topping — what the 2021 crew ac- complished in preparation. The balance of the summer remains vital, Jansen said. "It was the seniors who drew a line in the sand and said, 'This is what we're going to do. This is how we're going to do it,'" noted Jansen. "Aidan Hutchinson is not there any- more. Brad Hawkins is not there anymore. Hassan Haskins is not there anymore. Who are those leaders going to be this year?" "Up until last year, no one in that building — except for some former players that are old coaches now — knew what it was like to do that," Skene said. "To win a Big Ten title, beat Ohio State, go do what they did. No one had ever done that. "Now, you've got that experience. Now the big question is, what does this year's team do with that experience? Do they think, 'Okay, that's enough'? Or are they thinking, 'We've not only got to do that again, we've got to do more'? "I don't know the answer to that, but we're going to find out this fall." ❏ THE WOLVERINE 2022 FOOTBALL PREVIEW ■ 31 Senior safety Brad Hawkins tied for the team lead with 9 tackles (7 solo) in the dominating 42- 27 win against the Buckeyes. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN Edge rusher David Ojabo finished with 3 solo stops and a 13-yard sack of C.J. Stroud with 1:05 remaining in the game to put an exclamation point on the Wolverines' defensive performance. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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