The Wolverine

January 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 29 of 171

BY JOHN BORTON They acted like we got our dignity back. — Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh E verything felt dignified at Livonia's Laurel Manor on Dec. 7, during the 95th an- nual Football Bust hosted by the University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit. Harbaugh, his coaches and a 9-3 group of Wolver- ines made it so. There were no solemn vows about turning everything around. The turn- ing had been accomplished. There were no awkward unity songs, leading to fast farewells. No, this year 's group of Wolverines felt good about themselves, the occa- sional stumbles notwithstanding. They'd made major upgrades and face the chance to double their win total from last season in the Jan. 1 Citrus Bowl. They posted three shutouts in a row this year and entered the final contest of the regular season with a shot at a Big Ten championship still alive. That's progress, and that ap- peared the theme of Year One under Harbaugh. "Somebody asked me at a press conference for the Citrus Bowl whether I think we laid a foundation with this team," Harbaugh said. "I don't ever think of it that way. It's not a static foundation, but a locomotive that's moving down the tracks, con- stantly in motion. "In my mind, the train was mov- ing a direction, and they stopped it. They stopped that direction, and they turned it around. That's not easy to do. They turned it right around on the tracks and got it going. "It left the station, and it's picking up steam. We're going to continue. Just so the players know, we're going to continue as we always have: the same intense, demanding, punishing pace." That pace worked wonders, and turned former bit players into stand- outs. Certainly redshirt junior wide re- ceiver Jehu Chesson took a major leap forward, from the Wolverines' fifth- leading receiver in 2014 to team MVP in the first year under Harbaugh. DIGNITY RESTORED Heads Are Held High At Michigan's Annual Football Bust

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