LINCOLN, Neb. – It was a game of constant momentum change, but Michigan football ended up doing just enough to win victoriously.
Cade McNamara threw to 58.7%, which included his first interception of his career, but he fought back and managed 255 yards through the air. The driving game was electric in the second half as Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum combined three touchdowns while the team rushed for 204 yards in total.
Given the big win made possible by Brad Hawkins’ forced fumbling and recovery on Nebraska’s penultimate run, head coach Jim Harbaugh was all smiling after the game.
Here is everything he had to say.
How the team fought back
“Yes, it was an incredible football match. Incredible games made by incredible athletes on both teams. The battle for victory, battle for down after down after down. It was huge. Great game. Incredible, really. We enjoy it. We enjoy the incredible. ”
Did he say anything to officials about replicating the snap counters in Nebraska?
“Yes yes. We say it. Once it was called up, but they certainly tried to clap, (replicate) the snap.”
Was he curious as to how the team would react to a deficit?
“Yes, I knew they would not scare! Like I said, some incredible athletes. Brad Hawkins, incredible game he made – eventually removed the ball and picked it up. Dax Hills interception – incredible. Some of the throws Cade made – incredible. Could go all the way down the list. Talk about the fight of the guards, the offensive guards. Zak Zinter went as long as he could. Trevor Keegan’s shoulder had bothered him. The hardness, the gravel. And the guys who were – Chuck Filiaga played both guards tonight. Karsen Barnhart came in and had a great game – he played both guards. Reece Atteberry – I think we had five guards playing in the game. And not a single negative yard whizzing past any of our running backs.
“Incredibly driven by Hassan Haskins, the early in the game. I have never seen a spotted nine foot map from the place! It was the first time I’ve seen it. Maybe it was – he’s incredible in terms of the ways he keeps his balance. Maybe – just said we challenge it. That place was way too short. Finally was able to get them to blow the whistle and challenge it.
“Yes, it was a Clint Eastwood victory! We are going to enjoy it! ”
On the running back in the second half
“It was a farm, block for a farm, and they would get three or four. And then block for eight and they get 30. Jumping over guys. It was incredible. Blake, Hassan, Hassan, Blake. Fun to watch. ”
His argument with the referees after Nebraska’s first touchdown
“It was an illegal formation from what I saw on the pitch. I was wondering who they put on the line with scrimmage when they had five in the backcourt and they told me the guy they put on the line with scrimmage. They said, ‘Well, he got away with a passport!’ Anyway, that’s how I saw it. It was either illegal that he was not on the line with scrimmage, or if it was them they put, the No. 3 receiver on the scrimmage line, he could not release downfield on a pass. At that particular point, that was what I was trying to argue about. ”
The biggest difference with this team
“The gravel they have, the struggle they have, the mindset of not being denied. The way they prepare and they have fun doing it. It’s in the eyes. Exercise and games. ”
How Cade McNamara reacted after the interception
“I always thought it was one of the big tests for any quarterback. After throwing an interception, they have the ability after an interception to drive the offense for points. Right there, in a nutshell, you can tell so much about any quarterback what happens to the next possession after they throw a wicket. The really good ones can drive their team to points, field goals or a touchdown on the next possession. Some guys can not, they go in the tank or become ultraconservative, cautious. That’s a huge indicator in a quarterback. ”
On defense do not fall for misalignment and not snowball
“To make plays when they should. It has been – so the same when we played Rutgers. Not to be intimidated, that’s what I’m talking about, that kind of gravel, that kind of determination not to be denied. Just stay after it until you make an even better, sensational, incredible game than they do. And they made some great ones. That catch on the sideline, it was an incredible catch, they did. They did some great things.
“And the atmosphere, the environment – it just showed a lot of calm and moxie of our guys. There’s no doubt they would storm the pitch, tear down the goal posts, carry them to – but not on our guys’ watch tonight. It was pretty cool, pretty cool. Proud of them. ”
What has made Jake Moody so reliable?
“The Northville kid! It has been the confidence, the preparation. Brad Robbins is a huge part of it, not just because he’s the proprietor, but his mental strength and positive daily infusion on our entire team, especially the snap, hold, kick battery — he’s just as rock solid of a leader as I have ever existed. He’s huge with that. Moody is just an equally calm, cool, collected kind of guy. William Wagner, he is the same way. All three of these guys are – ice water in the veins analogy. ”
Would Moody have it on the left hash for the last FG?
“Just worked that way. Yes, we tried to get one first down there. ”
Will he talk to the Big Ten about Nebraska trying to replicate the number of snaps?
“Yes, we have talked to them about it. There were a few more things that were already shown in terms of adjustments and putting – officials continue to say they want to put guys on, they want to put them in the right place, they do not want flags, but we do not want football to become the kind where you do not know who is on, who is off, who is the eligible recipient, who is not? It should be clear. You can not have two guys lined up at the same time – you put a guy on, a guy from. I do not think that’s where we want football. That kind of clapping, it really should be an intention to deceive errors, which is in the rule book and 15 yards. But hey, all that – I just want to enjoy the incredible. It was great!
“Will be a happy flight, I’ll tell you! Hey Warde! It’s going to be a happy flight, right? ”
Are the injuries to Roman Wilson, Zak Zinter and Trevor Keegan long-term?
“I think saying goodbye, not playing this week will really help. I do not think they are long-term injuries, no. ”
How did the recipients with Roman Wilson step out?
“Big time, big time. I think we got darn near all tight ends – Honigford got a catch, a first catch. So did Erick. Schoony got a pair. The big delay really worked for us and it got us out of three conversions that were downplayed. The receivers-I walked around during the break, I told the guys they were on the spot and caught the ball, meters after catch. I do not know how many yards we threw for, but had to be quite a bit. ”
On Cade McNamara’s throw that led to the first TD in the second half
“Yes, there was – thank you for pointing it out. He made some spectacular throws. He made many of the throws, stood in his pocket, knowing he would drop it and get hit. Still put these throws on the money. Trying to think of something – it just really – really, pretty sharply all night, what you see on the pitch. Just some kind of cold blood left in the pocket. Know that someone is about to hit you and you are still throwing it to the right place and not scaring. That says a lot. He performs a heckuva job. ”