MINNEAPOLIS – It wasn’t easy, but The Little Brown Jug is coming back to Ann Arbor.
Well, of course, it took a total team effort for Michigan to get it back, with the Wolverines relying on their backup quarterback Wilton Speight throwing his first career touchdown pass and their defense holding up for a game winning goal-line stand.
But, hey, Michigan will take it, as they leave Minnesota with a 29-26 win against the Gophers.
“I felt good for them, you know,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said of his team winning the jug. “I felt like this is good for them as players, cause they played phenomenal. They had an invaluable learning experience (Saturday) to win a tough game on the road. That’s not an easy thing.”
Adding: “It’s the thing that makes you feel most like a man. When you can beat a big opponent in a big game in front of a very energetic crowd. Alt those things, you’re feeding a lot of things.”
And Harbaugh’s players felt the same sentiment.
“Well, I was one of the first ones to run over there and pick up the jug,” said Jabrill Peppers. “Growing up a Michigan fan, I know there is something special about the jug and it is an incredible feeling to have it back here in Ann Arbor.”
Fifth-year senior Desmond Morgan rushed the Minnesota’s sideline looking for the jug, however, admits he had no idea where he was looking exactly, but appreciated having it back once he finally found it.
“It was in the back corner there. We kind of stormed the sideline to go get it. But nobody really knew where it was at. So we were looking around aimlessly,” Morgan recalled. “But once we finally got it, we brought it back in and Coach Harbaugh kind of addressed it, the ability of all the guys to get a team win on the road like this and celebrate.
“As a senior I know how nice it is to bring the jug back home to Ann Arbor, especially after losing it last year and how we felt after that. So for us, it was just a great feeling.”
Harbaugh continued to praise his team for never giving up and show relentless attitude to the finish.
“These guys will have (this win) that the rest of their playing careers and long after,” Harbaugh said. “You don’t give up. You keep fighting. You keep playing.”