Jim Harbaugh gave a little insight to Michigan’s recipe for success during Tuesday’s Big Ten teleconference, and also provided an injury update for his team.
Call Jim Harbaugh anything you want. Cocky, arrogant, whatever. Just make sure you include that the man is a tireless worker, dedicated to making Michigan football a contender again since the day he was hired.
It’s not all coincidence that the Wolverines went from 5-7 under Brady Hoke to a 10-win team in Harbaugh’s first season. Many figured Michigan would turn around under Harbaugh, only maybe not this quickly. Heading into the second game of his second year, the Wolverines are up to No. 5 in the AP Top 25 for the first time since the opening poll of the 2007 campaign – and even received a No. 1 vote.
“We’re building and attacking at the same time,” Harbaugh said during Tuesday’s Big Ten media teleconference. “We have a tremendous opportunity and we want to make the most of it.”
Harbaugh knows there will be much more difficult tests than last week’s 63-3 romp over Hawaii, a win that marked Michigan’s largest margin of victory since 1975. And his players know that, too.
The Wolverines are heavily favored against UCF on Saturday at the Big House – just like that ’07 team was when it lost to Appalachian State in the first game after receiving its lofty ranking.
“We’re aware of where we’re at after one game,” Harbaugh said. “(Tuesday was) the first day of classes and the guys can go around campus holding their heads up knowing they’re doing well.
“Now, they have to go out and do it again and again and the week after that.”
Michigan Injury Update
Harbaugh said he doesn’t believe defensive end Taco Charlton or nose tackle Bryan Mone will be able to play Saturday. Charlton has a left ankle injury that isn’t considered serious, while Mone, who missed all of last season with a broken ankle, has a left knee issue.
Running back Drake Johnson and linebacker Noah Furbush also won’t play. Harbaugh said Furbush’s injury is more serious than Johnson’s.
There’s good news, too, though. Standout cornerback Jourdan Lewis and offensive lineman Ben Braden should return against Central Florida after both sat out the Hawaii game with minor injuries.
Running back De’Veon Smith will be in the lineup despite suffering a rib injury last week.