Teams are granted 15 practices for bowl season, with most of them generally focusing on developing young talent with the extra practice time.
But then again most teams aren’t led by Jim Harbaugh, who is instead using his time on preparing his experienced players with more reps with the message to “win,” says senior linebacker Desmond Morgan, as Michigan prepares for Florida in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl on New Years Day.
“Coach Harbaugh came out with a different message coming into this (bowl),” Morgan said. “A lot of times the bowl preparation for other teams will be focused on young guys and things like that. For us it’s really about going out and win the game. We know the guys that we got. We got to get back some of our technique stuff that kind of slipped away at the end of the season. But it’s one of those things, we got three weeks to get better and go win a game.”
In the spring, Harbaugh had his Wolverines practice four hours at time, using every second possible to prepare his team for the upcoming season. It remains to be seen if he’ll take the same approach this bowl season, says Morgan.
“So far we haven’t gone back to the four hour stuff,” Morgan said. “I don’t know what (Harbaugh’s) plans are. But I do know there is that tapering mentality where will start off pretty heavy again, because we have some time, so you’re body can recover. I’m sure as it gets closer to the game it will calm down a little bit.”
Morgan mentioned Noah Furbush, Mike McCray and Jared Wangler as notable linebackers who could take the next step in bowl practice.
“Them getting reps there early on we have to encourage them and teach them as best as we can,” Morgan said. “But another ting is with Coach (D.J. Durkin) gone (to Maryland), as senior leaders especially we have to stand up and make sure the standards are still held for how they have been all season. That’s been a big priority for us.”
But in the end, Morgan says experienced players still need to get their reps.
“As you go on you got to get your reps towards the game, if you take too much time off you get rusty,” Morgan said. “So it’s one of those things you got to find that balance.”