ANN ARBOR, Mich. – No lead is safe, even when you’re up 41-16, according to Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, who decided to go for a 2-point conversion early on in the third quarter of U-M’s eventual 49-16 win against Rutgers.
“The chart says to do that,” Harbaugh said when asked about going for two. “That’s what the chart says. So we went with that plan and the percentages. It took it from 25-27, it’s what it says to do.”
Adding: “You play those scenarios out when you’re managing a game. That’s all it was. It wasn’t a mentality. We were executing our offense and running our plays in terms of our game plan.”
Or was it something else that made Harbaugh go for two?
Maybe, it was the anger he displayed at halftime after seeing Rutgers players and coaches celebrate after hitting a field goal to cut U-M’s halftime lead to 35-16, which didn’t seem to sit too well with Harbaugh, says Jourdan Lewis.
“Coach was kind of mad, those guys were excited, I think they were down 19 or 20 at half and they were celebrating. He was upset about that,” Lewis said. “He wanted to put points up on the board, make sure we establish our dominance.”
Lewis admits there were some expletives said by Harbaugh at halftime, however, the message was made clear by his coach moving forward.
“I don’t think I can say that right now,” Lewis said of Harbaugh language. “But it was a lot. But he wanted to bring that fire back in that second half and finish those guys off. … He was angry. He was angry we gave up those special teams points. He just wanted to get those points back.”
Michigan outscored Rutgers 14-0 in the second half.
“Maybe from where you’re sitting, it seems lopsided. But from where I was standing with the kickoff returns and the punt return, I play out those bad scenarios in my head,” said Harbaugh.