Gameballs: Michigan at Penn State

Posted on Posted in Michigan Football

(Photo courtesy of Michigan Athletics)
(Photo courtesy of Michigan Athletics)

The Michigan Wolverines improved to 9-2 (6-1 Big Ten) on the season, with its 28-16 road win on Saturday. The Wolverines capped off an undefeated Big Ten road schedule, winning four road games for the first time since 1997. The game started where the Indiana game left off, as Penn State running back, Saquon Barkley, busted a 56-yard rush into the red zone. Michigan’s defense tightened up and held the Nittany Lions on three straight plays, forcing them to settle for a field goal. On its first drive, Michigan marched down the field with ease and Jake Rudock found Jake Butt for a 26-yard pitch and catch, to give the Wolverines a 7-3 lead. After the two teams traded touchdowns in the second quarter, Michigan took a 14-10 lead into the locker room. The second half didn’t go much differently, as the Happy Valley crowd saw Penn State kick two field goals, and Michigan scored two rushing touchdowns on its way to a 28-16 Big Ten victory. At the end of the day, it was another great TEAM win for Michigan, but there is one person most deserving of this week’s recognition. Let’s see who is awarded this weeks gameball.

Gameball: Jim Harbaugh, Head Coach

A few weeks ago I gave coach Harbaugh a gameball after the team’s 38-0 win over Northwestern (then ranked #13). This week I am again awarding coach Harbaugh the gameball. Jim Harbaugh has Michigan back in the national talks. This week Michigan hosts the school from Ohio, in what should be a game for the ages. “The Game”, finally seems to have some meaning again. Harbaugh vs. Meyer…Chapter 1. Heck, had our little brother not gone and messed everything up last week, we would be playing for a spot in the Big Ten Championship game (which we still are if Penn State finds a way to knock off Sparty).

Quarterback Jake Rudock has been very successful through the air this season, particularly the past few weeks. Coach Harbaugh has molded Rudock into the leader that he is for Michigan. The quarterback is the centerpiece for every offense, but even more so in a Jim Harbaugh offense. After playing quarterback for the Wolverines, and later in the NFL, coach Harbaugh brings years of experience to Ann Arbor. Sure there were some great plays made this past Saturday, but the biggest play was seeing Harbaugh throwing his hat, headset, and of course, his puffy jacket. Nothing gets me more fired up than a good ole Harbaugh tantrum, and I know the Michigan players feel the same way. The truth is, there are some others who could easily be awarded a gameball this week, but I am choosing to give it to coach Harbaugh. He had these boys ready to play this weekend, and they never lost sight of that Big Ten championship. It would’ve been real easy for the team to fold after the fluke loss to Michigan State, but here we are at the start of OSU week, with 9 wins on the season.

Coach Harbaugh has completely flipped the city of Ann Arbor around in less than a year, and I can’t wait to watch him, and the rest of the Wolverines destroy the Buckeyes this weekend! Go Blue!

 


 

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Craig Compton
Born and raised in the mitten, and I bleed Maize and Blue. For as long as I can remember, Saturdays in the fall have revolved around Michigan football. I am entering season 2 with TBHR, and will be writing the "Harbaugh's Heroes" segment each week, as well as podcasting and a few other articles from time to time. I look forward to this season! Go Blue!