Harbaugh: Need All 11 on Same Page

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh fully evaluated his Wolverines in all three phases over the weekend. Despite a missed field goal, special teams graded out very well in a loss at Utah Thursday.

Jim Harbaugh had extended time to evaluate his Wolverines over the weekend following a 24-17 season opening loss on the road at Utah Thursday night.

And in that time, Harbaugh found several positives -- and of course negatives -- but appeared optimistic about Michigan in his Monday press conference in Ann Arbor.

Put in tough situations all night following a three interception night for senior quarterback Jake Rudock, Harbaugh believed the defense acquitted itself well, holding the Utes to 17 points.

"Defensively, sudden change situations after a turnover, we gave up no points in those situations," Harbaugh said. "We gave up no points in the two minute situations. On the other side not getting turnovers, we got the one turnover before the half but I want to see more aggressive in terms of the ball and clubbing it, ripping it, getting it out and on the other side.

"Getting a little more hands on balls whether it be tips or interceptions. I thought the defense as a whole, again, more consistent, more consistently fast. I'd like to see that. There were parts of the game where we didn't get lined up quickly to formations and downs as we could have and should have."

The theme offensively of course centered on turnovers first and foremost, but beyond that Harbaugh had a mixed bag of issues for that unit.

The Wolverines ran for just 76 total yards despite out gaining Utah in total yardage with 355 total yards.

"Offensively, when all eleven were doing exactly what they were supposed to do and the precision of the unit has to get all eleven," Harbaugh said. "At the times we had breakdowns it was one guy, one breakdown, or one missed assignment. It lead to being costly but all of it is fixable and we're working hard to do it right now.

"I thought the discipline was really good offensively and there wasn't a lot of pre-snap mistakes, penalties were very low and really missed assignments were low. But again, there was a key one by one guy, and it's not one guy that did it every single time, it was a play here, play there, but that shows you how important all eleven are, especially on offense.

"We were good in the red zone, picked up a good amount of first downs, four drives of over eight plays, a 12 play drive in there. We did some good things, but short yardage, shows you how important short yardage is cause we didn't pick up short yardage situations. Turnovers also were costly and putting it all together."

The one area Harbaugh believes performed the best of all three phases is special teams. Despite a missed field goal from senior kicker Kenny Allen, overall, Harbaugh gave the group high marks in week one.

"Special teams I thought we did well," Harbaugh said. "I was happy with Jabrill and the decisions he made in the return game. The one kickoff opportunity we had, thought we made an outstanding catch on the punt, spectacular really cause if that ball hits the ground you don't know which way it's going to bounce.

"I thought we covered well, there was a lot of touchbacks in the game, coverage and returns both were all pretty good. We played with ten on one occasion which you don't want to see but for our first game I thought our special teams were pretty darn good."


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