ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Below are select quotes from Jim Harbaugh’s appearance on the “Inside Michigan Football” radio show on Monday night ahead of the Ohio State game.
On his excitement for the legend-making rivalry game:
It’s an honor to be in this position and playing in this big game, playing for a championship. I’m most thrilled that our guys are excited about the test, because we’re going to be tested. It’s gonna be our toughest test of the year.
Find out what our limits are: Physically, mentally, spiritually. And I think you’re going to find we’re made of the right stuff, and I think you’re going to see that.
On what he sees from the Ohio State offense:
They’ve got a tremendous quarterback, tremendous receivers, a really good offensive line, outstanding running backs. They’re very good. They’re very explosive. I mean, you know as well as I do what they’re capable of. Playing at a super high level.
You gotta stop them. You have to cover them. Gotta build that run wall and get pressure on the quarterback.
On what he sees from the Ohio State defense:
Opportunistic defense. Seventeen turnovers on the year, 10 by interception. Caused like 16 fumbles and recovered six of those, I believe, and scored three touchdowns as a defense.
It’s really good. New defensive coordinator. It’s somewhat different. It’s a man-to-man, a lot of man. But a little different than what we saw in Illinois. They play their system, they play it really well.
On how Blake Corum’s availability impacts the game plan:
It could. And it could not. Both of those options would be available.
On preparing J.J. McCarthy for The Game:
What I just said about the other players: Just go have at it. The team, myself, the players, the coaches — everybody has tremendous confidence in JJ.
On Ohio State coach Ryan Day:
I think he’s a great coach. The evidence is everywhere. It’s all over the tape.
He does a tremendous job, and they have great coaches. We have great coaches. They have great players; we have great players. They have Heisman guys; we’ve got Heisman guys. It’s like two superhero teams meeting on Saturday.
It’s coming Saturday. Today we’re going to work on getting ready to prepare and get ready for that big ball game.
On DC Jesse Minter appearing on the Broyles Award nominee list:
It’s been tremendous. I actually nominated Ben Herbert as the Broyles Finalist. But they came back and said that it had to be a coach, a position coach, and they picked Jesse Minter. Very deserving, as I was looking at it.
Ben Herbert has had a huge impact on our team. Sherrone Moore, another great year that he’s had. I thought him and Matt called a great game against Illinois. Steve Clinkscale is very deserving of that Broyles Award as well. Mike Hart. Jay Harbaugh again has the number one special teams unit of the top 30 teams that are ranked.
And Jesse has done an amazing job. No question about it. I think we’ve got great coaches on our staff and Jesse is representing us, and we couldn’t be prouder.
On what he’s thankful for on Thanksgiving:
I’m grateful, so grateful for this team. The way they worked, the way they’ve earned it. I mean, they paid the price. So thankful for them, and each day has been enjoyable day-to-day.
Thankful for my family, thankful for my parents and all the things that they’ve instilled in me. And I’m thankful for the parents of all our players, the things that they have poured into each of their sons. Everything has been in preparation for this game and it wouldn’t be here without my parents, without the example of my dad and my mom. Every time she’d take me to a practice or come watch a game. And just the discipline and the coaching that they gave me, and I see that in every single one of our players.
All the things they poured into them. They were born for this, and I can’t wait for the opportunity to play this game.