Coach Speak: What Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh and Indiana’s Tom Allen said about each other

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh and Indiana’s Tom Allen both remarked on their opponent this week in their regular media availabilities.

No. 23 Michigan (1-1) and No. 13 Indiana (2-0) kick off at noon ET on Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Ind.

Although Indiana is ranked higher, Michigan is roughly a 3.5 point favorite according to the Vegas odds.

The game on Saturday will be televised by FS1.


“It’s going to be a tough game,” Harbaugh said. “Indiana’s really good.”

Top to bottom, Harbaugh is impressed with the Hoosiers.

“They do a lot of things well. Defensively, multiple looks. Offensively, good quarterback, very good receivers, really good running back. Very physical team. Very fired up team. And all the things that we’ve seen from Indiana year in and year out. Tom Allen does a great job coaching the team and it’s an exciting ball club, Tom’s really got them playing well,” Harbaugh said.

Michigan put together a convincing win over IU in 2019, defeating the Hoosiers 39-14 in Bloomington.

While the Wolverines lost a fair amount of their starters from last year’s team, this year’s Hoosiers team is “even better, more talented” than previous years according to Harbaugh.

“They’re atop of the Big Ten standings right now. It’ll be a tough ball game, as it always is,” Harbaugh continued.  “They’re talented defensively and are multiple in their schemes. Their quarterback is playing well and is hot. Their receivers are making catches and getting open, and they have fine running backs.

“Their o-line has been physical as well. I’m not surprised how well they’ve started off the season here in 2020. If we play good, we play the way we’re capable of, we will be tough to beat as well,” he said.


Allen opened his Monday media session with remarks on the Wolverines.

“I’m excited to welcome the Michigan Wolverines to campus on Saturday for a noon kickoff,” Allen said.  “I have a ton of respect for Jim Harbaugh and the coach that he is and the kind of talent they have on that football team. They’re one of the top programs in this country, a top 25 program, and we’re going to have to keep getting better every single time we take the field. Big challenge this week.”


Michigan was a three touchdown favorite at home against rival Michigan State last weekend.

Of course the Wolverines came up short, and now a wave of negativity surrounds Harbaugh and the program.

ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit assessed the state of the Michigan program on his podcast this week.

“Your goals that you thought were attainable — they still are by the way for Michigan — but all of a sudden you wonder where is the psyche of that team after what they experienced? Losing to their rival, all of the negativity,” Herbstreit said this week on his ESPN-based podcast. “The only thing people are talking about over this past weekend … you’re hearing a lot of ‘wow Justin Fields and Ohio State looks legit.’ And you’re hearing a lot of ‘what is going on with Jim Harbaugh? Look at his record against Michigan State and Ohio State at home.’”

Herbstreit wonders if the Wolverine players will be able to shut out the noise and be ready on Saturday for IU.

“Can you imagine being a player? They’re going to have to block out, again, more negativity which has been surrounding this program for the last few years,” he said.  “Now they’ve got to get ready to go to Bloomington and play a team that’s kind of heading in an opposite direction as far as confidence.”

One thing is certain.

If Michigan falls to IU on Saturday, the negative noise surrounding Harbaugh and the program will get turned up several decibels.

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