LINCOLN, Neb. — It was a recreation that had every thing — adversity, a comeback win, a uncommon nighttime street victory in entrance of a raucous crowd. Whereas Saturday night time’s 32-29 win over Nebraska may not cease the nationwide media’s incessant criticism of Jim Harbaugh, it’ll it least quiet it for awhile.
It’s an enormous credit score to the gamers, who, regardless of trailing for the primary time all yr, enjoying in entrance of a street crowd for simply the second time this season, stepped up in key, massive moments, and secured the victory for the Wolverines. Michigan stays undefeated at 6-0 whereas Nebraska falls to 3-4 on the season.
It took nearly every thing to get this one, nevertheless. The protection faltered early and infrequently within the second half, although the offense moved the ball often, due to the bottom recreation. As soon as Brad Hawkins made an enormous play, forcing a fumble after which recovering it in plus-territory, the offense moved ahead, and kicker Jake Moody did the remaining.
It had been mentioned all season that we’d know extra about this Michigan soccer staff as soon as it confronted true adversity, and there it was, dashing ahead head-on, betting the Wolverines they wouldn’t go away with bowl eligibility. That wasn’t the case, and head coach Jim Harbaugh was ear-to-ear about what his staff achieved at Memorial Stadium on Saturday night time.
“Yeah, effectively, it was an unbelievable soccer struggle,” Harbaugh mentioned. “Unbelievable performs made by unbelievable athletes on each groups. The struggle for the win, preventing for down after down after down. It was large. Great recreation. Unbelievable, actually. We’re having fun with it. We’re having fun with the unbelievable.”
3 issues we discovered after Michigan soccer beat Nebraska
Harbaugh says he by no means misplaced perception within the staff, even when issues had been beginning to look dire. Seems, neither did the staff.
It wasn’t simply the large performs that had been made, however the massive contributions from uncommon contributors this night time in Lincoln. Accidents plagued the maize and blue, significantly on the offensive line. And but, quite a few gamers stepped up as known as upon, some for the primary time this season.
“Yeah, I knew they wouldn’t flinch!” Harbaugh mentioned. “Like I mentioned, some unbelievable athletes. Brad Hawkins, unbelievable play he made — stripping that ball ultimately and choosing it up. Dax Hill’s interception — unbelievable. A few of the throws Cade made — unbelievable. Might go proper down the checklist. Speak concerning the struggle of the guards, the offensive guards. Zak Zinter went so long as he might. Trevor Keegan’s shoulder had been bothering him. The toughness, the grit. And the blokes that had been — Chuck Filiaga performed each guards tonight. Karsen Barnhart got here in and had a tremendous recreation — he performed each guards. Reece Atteberry — I believe we had 5 guards that performed within the recreation. And never a single adverse yard dashing by any of our operating backs.
“Unbelievable run by Hassan Haskins, the one early within the recreation. I’ve by no means seen one noticed 9 ft wanting the spot! That was the primary time I’ve seen that. Perhaps that was — he’s unbelievable by way of the methods he retains his stability. Perhaps — simply mentioned we’re difficult it. That spot was method quick. Lastly was capable of get them to blow the whistle and problem it.
“Yeah, that was a Clint Eastwood win! We’re gonna get pleasure from it!”
Huge Ten energy rankings after Week 6: Sure, one more new staff on the prime
Whereas it was the offense giving the protection an opportunity to make a stand within the second half, the protection stood tall when it completely needed to, each on the penultimate drive which resulted in Hawkins’ fumble restoration, and once more on the ultimate drive, when Nebraska drove to midfield, seeking to tie or win, however couldn’t convert from there.
What was it that Jim Harbaugh noticed from his protection because it broke and broke and broke earlier than it bent and bent and finally stood its floor? He noticed the identical group that struggled towards Rutgers within the second half earlier than doing precisely what it wanted to in each video games.
“Making the performs once they needed to,” Harbaugh mentioned. “It’s been — noticed the identical factor after we performed Rutgers. To not flinch, that’s what I’m speaking about, that type of grit, that type of dedication of not being denied. Simply staying after it till you make yet one more higher, sensational, unbelievable play than they do. And so they had been making some massive ones. That catch on the sideline, that was an unbelievable catch that they made. They did some nice issues.
“And the environment, the surroundings — it simply confirmed a number of poise and moxie by our guys. There’s little question they wished to storm the sector, tear down the aim posts, carry them to the — however not on our guys’ watch tonight. That was fairly cool, fairly cool. Pleased with them.”