Narrowly defeating the Army Black Knights, 24-21, in double overtime at Michigan Stadium, Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines got everything they bargained for and then some on Saturday.
Despite losing the time of possession battle by over three minutes, Michigan outgained Army, 340-243. The Achilles heel for Michigan was fumbling. Putting the ball on the turf four times, the Wolverines lost three fumbles, including two by senior quarterback Shea Patterson.
Freshman running back Zach Charbonnet led the charge for Michigan, carrying the football 33 times for an even 100 yards and three touchdowns.
“We just felt like we had to go with Zach,” coach Jim Harbaugh told FOX2Detroit.
“You have to give the kid a lot of credit, he did a heck of a job.”
Averaging 3.3 yards per rush, 200 of Army’s 243 yards came on the ground. On the field for 31:35, the Michigan defense made the biggest play of the game when it mattered most; junior Kwity Paye recovered Army quarterback junior Kelvin Hopkins Jr.’s fumble on third down in double overtime.
Addressing the media after the game, Harbaugh provided a simple – but accurate – assessment of the game, per The Detroit News’ Angelique Chengelis:
Harbaugh “sometimes you have to fight like that” pic.twitter.com/XwUA5atNDu
— angelique (@chengelis) September 7, 2019
“That’s how you fight,” he expanded. “That’s how you scratch and claw.”
The Black Knights had a chance to win the game in regulation, but freshman kicker Cole Talley’s 50-yard field-goal attempt sailed wide right as time expired.
Now 2-0, Harbaugh and the Wolverines have a week off to sharpen their product. Michigan will next be in action on September 21 vs. Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.