Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh says his team is energetic heading into the mnost important stretch of the season.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh says his team is energetic heading into the mnost important stretch of the season.

Normally come mid November, college football season has taken it's toll on the body and mind of all student-athletes.

In Ann Arbor, with Michigan sitting at 8-2 and just 48 hours removed from an emotionally exhausting but thrilling 48-41 double-overtime win at Indiana, Jim Harbaugh doesn't want to hear any of that talk.

"We're not walking around beat up," Harbaugh said. "Nobody's beat up that I know of. Do you know something I don't know? We've got a bounce in our step. We're ready to go."

"I think the student-athletes have a bounce in their step and they're ready to attack the day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind," Harbaugh added." 

There's no denying the injury bug has certainly hit Michigan over the last few weeks though, beginning with senior defensive end Mario Ojemudia's season ending injury and followed by the most recent news of starting nose tackle Ryan Glasgow shelved for the year with a pectoral issue.

The Wolverines have continued to plug the holes and fill the gaps though, now sliding Henry Poggi to the defensive line at times, also inserting Tom Strobel.

This time of year, that's what a football season becomes, survival of the fittest, with the most physically and mentally tough teams standing with a shot at achieving all of it's goals.

As Harbaugh has stated throughout the season, the focus is one game for his Wolverines -- the next one. And with one win each of the next two weeks, the bigger goals become possible.

"I just think back to any playoff situation that you've ever been in or you know about, your own experience," Harbaugh said. "I can draw on coaching teams in playoffs, being in playoffs as a player.

"Heck, when we were young living over on Anderson Street, in the summer we'd all get together in the morning and go play basketball at Pattengill Elementary School. They had a concrete basketball floor, two rims with the chains as the nets. You picked your team and you started playing. The team that won got to play the next game and if you lost you had to go to the side and pick a new team. And the goal was to play all the way to lunch, didn't want to miss out on any games. 

"To me, that's what, when you're in playoff situations, you're going to play more games if you win and if you don't win you've got to watch. We're in that kind of situation. If we win we get to keep playing after the next two games. If we don't, we don't, then we've got to watch. That's it."

Asked what Michigan's "lunch" is, if the goal is to play to lunch, Harbaugh made it pretty clear.

"That would be the opportunity to play in the championship game in the playoffs, playoff situation," he said.

For Michigan, winning out isn't good enough, in need of some help to get to Indianapolis to likely challenge undefeated and No. 5 Iowa.

In simple irony at it's finest, the Wolverines desperately need an Ohio State win over the Michigan State Spartans Saturday night in Columbus, setting up what would be a massive match-up with the Buckeyes in Ann Arbor the following week.

Don't expect Harbaugh to be saying "Go Bucks" though.

"There was only one court at Pattengill," Harbaugh said laughing. "They may have two now, I don't know."

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