The Wolverine

2018 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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6 ■ THE WOLVERINE 2018 FOOTBALL PREVIEW BY CHRIS BALAS M ichigan head coach Jim Harbaugh hasn't yet decided if he'll name one offensive coordinator for this fall, saying in early June he was content with the way his staff worked together in the spring. New assistant coach Jim McElwain was hired to coach wide receivers, and while it was reported he'd also help call plays and put game plans together, McElwain was ev- ery bit the team player when asked about his role this spring. "I came in to learn what Pep [Hamilton] is teaching and to help him in any way I can," McElwain said of U-M's passing game coordinator and assistant head coach. "He's running it. I'm just here to help him." Hamilton, though, insisted it wasn't just his show when asked if anything had changed from this year to last. What's certain is that McElwain, the for- mer Florida and Colorado State head coach, has plenty of experience and a terrific of- fensive mind. He also helped lead Alabama to two na- tional titles as its offensive coordinator, and his work with U-M's wide receivers (along with graduate assistant and former player Roy Roundtree) is paying dividends, accord- ing to the players and his fellow coaches. Hamilton returns for his second year, while first year assistant Ed Warinner, the new offensive line coach, also has plenty of coordinator experience with Ohio State and Kansas. "What we're striving for is great collabo- ration, and some people talk about the 'too many chiefs' analogy. We're looking for warriors, and I believe that we have that, and it's working really well," Harbaugh said. "We understand that offense is a place of improvement for our football team. "The collaboration part is what we're striving for." He confirmed in early June "we haven't decided that, correct," when asked if that meant he wasn't certain if he'd name just one. Most of the coaches and players were back in the building in early June, the play- ers working with new strength coach Ben Herbert, while the coaches continued their self-scouting. "Everybody's back training, and coaches are recruiting and on the road doing various camps," Harbaugh said. "The players are doing good. "[Self-evaluation] was good. We have to do it again. … After spring ball the coaches hit the road recruiting. When we have every- body back, we will go through spring ball schematically. We've gone through evalua- tion of the players, and we want to reevalu- ate spring practice the way we evaluated the previous season." Harbaugh Undecided On Naming Offensive Coordinator MICHIGAN FOOTBALL Pep Hamilton joined U-M prior to last year as assistant head coach, passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach, but the team did not list an offensive coordinator as of mid-June. PHOTO BY BRANDON BROWN 2019 Date Opponent Aug. 31 Middle Tennessee State Sept. 7 Army Sept. 21 at Wisconsin Sept. 28 Rutgers Oct. 5 Iowa Oct. 12 at Illinois Oct. 19 at Penn State Oct. 26 Notre Dame Nov. 2 at Maryland Nov. 16 Michigan State Nov. 23 at Indiana Nov. 30 Ohio State Dec. 7 Big Ten Championship* 2020 Date Opponent Sept. 5 at Washington Sept. 12 Ball State Sept. 19 Arkansas State Sept. 26 Wisconsin Oct. 3 Penn State Oct. 10 at Michigan State Oct. 17 at Minnesota Oct. 24 Purdue Nov. 7 Maryland Nov. 14 at Rutgers Nov. 21 Indiana Nov. 28 at Ohio State Dec. 5 Big Ten Championship* 2021 Date Opponent Sept. 4 TBD Sept. 11 Washington Sept. 18 TBD Sept. 25 Rutgers Oct. 2 at Wisconsin Oct. 9 at Indiana Oct. 16 Michigan State Oct. 30 at Nebraska Nov. 6 Northwestern Nov. 13 at Penn State Nov. 20 at Maryland Nov. 27 Ohio State Dec. 4 Big Ten Championship* Other Future Non-Conference Opponents 2022: Sept. 10 vs. UCLA 2023: Sept. 2 at UCLA 2024: Aug. 31 vs. Texas 2025: Sept. 6 at Oklahoma 2026: Sept. 12 vs. Oklahoma 2027: Sept. 4 at Texas * at Indianapolis FUTURE MICHIGAN FOOTBALL SCHEDULES

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