Michigan Aiming For It's First National Title Since 1997

August 15, 2023

Athlete Studio

Michigan football fans have reason to be excited as the Wolverines gear up for what could be their most formidable season in nearly a decade under the guidance of head coach Jim Harbaugh. Ranked second in the nation, the team has its sights set on capturing their first national title since the memorable year of 1997.

Leading the charge is J.J. McCarthy, a talented quarterback returning as the starter. He will be supported by the exceptional skills of All-America running back Blake Corum, who is primed for an outstanding season. The offensive line, widely regarded as one of the best in college football, will provide a solid foundation for the team's success.

Defensively, the Wolverines boast a wealth of experience with key returning starters such as Junior Colson and Michael Barrett, both recognized as All-Big Ten linebackers. Additionally, standout cornerback Will Johnson adds a formidable presence to the defensive lineup.

Despite achieving significant success in the past two seasons, including a momentous victory over Ohio State and a record-breaking 25 wins, Michigan's journey in the College Football Playoff semifinals ended in disappointment. A resounding loss to TCU and a previous routing by Georgia served as humbling experiences for the team.

Blake Corum, filled with determination, expressed his ambition for the upcoming season, stating, "It's win or bust for me. I have high standards, and if we make it to the top, we need to surpass it."

Jim Harbaugh, while not entirely subscribing to the title-or-bust mentality, is pleased that his team remains unsatisfied with their previous achievements. He emphasized that the time for success is now and that the team's mindset reflects this sentiment.

Michigan recognizes the need to bridge the gap between their current standing and the two-time defending national champions, the Georgia Bulldogs. To overcome this challenge, the team introduced a "Beat Georgia" drill during spring practice, building upon the previous addition of a "Beat Ohio State" section two years ago.

"To be the best, you have to defeat the best," Corum declared. "Georgia currently holds the top spot, and if we aspire to reach that pinnacle, we must conquer them."

Looming Suspension

In a potential setback, Jim Harbaugh faces the possibility of a four-game suspension due to violations of NCAA rules regarding improper contact with recruits. Michigan has submitted a negotiated resolution to the NCAA, but further inquiries have prolonged the resolution process. If the case proceeds to a full hearing, any suspension will be delayed.

A Resilient Comeback

Notably, Blake Corum has made a triumphant return after undergoing surgery on his left knee towards the end of the previous regular season. He has been medically cleared and is ready to contribute to the team's success. Sharing the backfield with Corum is Donovan Edwards, a talented player who will also showcase his skills as a receiver due to his speed and exceptional hands.

High Expectations for McCarthy

After earning the starting quarterback position last year over Cade McNamara, J.J. McCarthy is set to make significant strides in his second year under center. He aims to enhance his passing abilities while incorporating his running skills into the game plan.

Home Advantage

The Wolverines will enjoy the comfort of home turf throughout September for the third consecutive year, with their opening game on September 2 against East Carolina. Following that, they will face UNLV, Bowling Green, and Rutgers, providing them with a favorable start to the season.

Michigan's true tests lie on the road, with clashes against rival Michigan State on October 21 and a challenging matchup against Penn State on November 11. The Wolverines will eagerly await their chance to host the iconic rivalry game against Ohio State on November 25, aiming to secure a third consecutive victory, a feat not accomplished since 1995-1997.

As the Michigan Wolverines embark on their journey, the anticipation and excitement among fans are palpable. With an exceptional lineup and a determined mindset, the team is poised to make a statement in the college football landscape this season.

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