Heard outside the Michigan locker room: Momentum change and a career day

ANN ARBOR – Maryland was expected to be a more formidable opponent than Michigan’s first three of the 2022 season, and the Terrapins proved it Saturday.

The Wolverines prevailed 34-27, but it took a running day from a running back and two steals from the defense to remain unscathed with a 4-0 record.

Here are notable quotes from head coach Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan players following Saturday’s win over Maryland (3-1):

“With the way I think, I feel like I was always able to carry the ball that many times. I prepare in the off-season for a reason. But if you really want to talk about how many yards I put up today, the whole (offensive) line killed it today. I say this every time and I mean it because I feel like they are the best offensive line in the country. They make my job easy. They allowed me to get to second-tier defenders very quickly.”

– Runner Blake Corum on his outstanding performance. He rushed a career-high 30 times to set a new career high for rushing yards with 243. Backup running back Donovan Edwards missed his second straight game due to injury, putting Corum in a role yet most notably.

“I would probably say it was definitely not my best performance. I want to bring back some things that came out, but I was happy with the way we were able to move the ball in the moments when we needed to respond. That was a good team out there. Maryland has a great defense; they had a great offense, and I was happy with the way we responded when adversity came along.”

– Quarterback JJ McCarthy on his performance. The sophomore finished 18-of-26 for 220 yards and two touchdowns, but he also missed some passes, particularly knocking down receivers on three deep shots to the field.

“Come out of blocks, adapt to tackle his lower back (Antwain Littleton). Run high and run hard. They were losing some yards with some of those first down runs for 5, 6 or 7 (yards). I thought Mazi Smith was exceptional, stepping up and coming out of screens and creating that run wall, especially when we needed it. We got the key stops when we needed them. Great victory. I’m super happy about that, and we’re going to Iowa.”

– Harbaugh on his team’s defensive performance. Michigan allowed a season-high 397 yards but also had two interceptions.

“That was only supposed to last like 1 or 2 yards. But the coaches caught on quickly. JJ broke the ball quickly. We caught them off guard. That was definitely a change in momentum.”

– Corum on his 33-yard touchdown run in the final minute of the first half to give Michigan a 17-13 lead. The Wolverines scrambled to the line of scrimmage on fourth-and-1, and McCarthy passed the ball to Corum, who made a quick cut and was untouched until the end zone.

“You know the opportunities were going to be more, and I just had to step up and be ready for anything. Kudos to the rest of our room as well. Lots of guys playing in their first Big Ten game. They responded and did very well too.”

– Tight end Luke Schoonmaker, who had seven receptions for a team-high 72 yards and a touchdown. With tight end Erick All out with an injury, Schoonmaker excelled more in the passing game. Other tight ends also took on larger roles. The walk-on Max Bredeson had a couple of catches, while Joel Honigford saw more plays in a blocking role.

“We had guys like Gemon early in the game, making big plays, breaking balls. DJ (Turner) with the big interception, big momentum change. RJ (Moten) had one late in the game. Just knowing that we knew we were going to get tested. They’ve got really good receivers, fast receivers, a couple of big-bodied guys. We just knew that with the quarterback that they have and the talent that they have, they were going to go out there, throw the ball and just test us, throw shots down the field. Our linebackers did a great job of zone coverage. Overall, I thought we did well today, but it can and will continue to improve.”

— Defensive back Mike Sainristil on how Michigan’s secondary fared against a strong Maryland passing offense. The Wolverines allowed 269 yards through the air, but none of the Terrapins’ talented wide receivers outgrew them deep.

“Thirty carries, we knew very well he could handle that. He is trained. This is something that goes out and does. It’s a seven-day-a-week, year-round thing to train himself to be fit to do what he does. he’s cool. So proud. I can’t imagine how proud James Corum (Blake’s father) is. I saw him just behind the bench. He dropped a button on his shirt. He was really great. The branch does not fall too far from the Corum family tree.”

– Harbaugh on Corum race day.

PLUS: Conclusions, observations of Michigan’s victory over Maryland

Maryland coach: Good teams don’t need help, but Michigan has plenty

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