ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Jim Harbaugh has stood by Jake Rudock, never relenting, as his quarterback found his way in Michigan’s offense this season.
In fact, Rudock earned some high praise from his coach this week, when Harbaugh labeled his offensive leader as a “godsend” as U-M prepare for its upcoming match-up this Saturday with rival Ohio State.
“That’s coach, that’s something that I will smile about,” Rudock said when asked why he smiled about Harbaugh’s proclamation. “Because he will be very straight forward in what he thinks and what he’s going to say. That’s a great attribute of his. Yeah, it’s a great compliment.”
Does Rudock see where Harbaugh is coming from, considering Michigan is on the verge of doubling up its win total from a season ago to possibly 10 wins and beyond?
“Yes and no,” Rudock said. “I was on a 4-8 team back when I was with Iowa (in 2014). It’s tough; it’s a tough season. Then you got to bounce back and do the best you can next year. But there is a 11 guys on the field, that’s the thing. Yes, you can change the circumstance of a team. But the whole team has to buy in, and I think that’s an attribute to our guys and our entire team and coaching staff.”
Well, Harbaugh has clearly made a difference in Rudock’s development. Rudock has thrown for 2,476 yards with 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions so far this season. He is also completing passes at a 64.4% rate, and has thrown for 250+ yards in three straight games, the first ever U-M quarterback to do so.
So, yeah, Rudock was the first to admit Harbaugh has made a difference in his game.
“Huge, I have learned so much from him and all the coaches here this year,” Rudock said when asked what Harbaugh has meant to his career. “Yeah, he’s allowed to say that. I wouldn’t go that far. But yeah, I have had tremendous growth with them through football and also just as a man as well. That is something that should not be understated.”
No. 10 Michigan (9-2, 6-1 Big Ten) plays host to No. 8 Ohio State (10-1, 6-1) at Noon ET.