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Michigan got hammered at Ohio State, 62-39, and it was every bit as bad as it sounds. Fifth-year senior end Chase Winovich, however, said it wasn’t indicative of the 2018 Wolverines team.
There were no excuses for it, he said, though he was still suffering from a back injury suffered against Indiana and fellow end (junior Rashan Gary) also wasn’t 100 percent. He did want U-M fans and recruits to know that the setback was not indicative of where the program is, insisting the gap isn’t that large.
“We didn’t have our best game that day, obviously,” Winovich said. “I don’t think anybody would say that. It wasn’t us. It happened; it is what it is. We’re going to look it in the face. But it wasn’t us being way worse than Ohio State. We had a bad day, and they capitalized on it. Like we’ve been doing, we’re going to come back stronger, and we’re going to remember this next year.”
Winovich won’t be there to see it. He’s projected to go in the top three rounds of this year’s NFL Draft. But he’ll be watching intently, having given his heart and soul to the program.
Winovich won both the Defensive Lineman of the Year and Bo Schembechler MVP Awards at Sunday’s awards show, and he had a message for those like five-star safety Daxton Hill, the Oklahoma safety who flipped his pledge from U-M to Alabama recently.
“To any recruit or any potential guy that sees what happened in the Ohio State game and is persuaded against coming to Michigan because of that, I would say that alone is a mirage, and they should not be fooled,” Winovich said. “What we’ve built here and what we’re continuing to build is a powerhouse, and that’s the Michigan that I’m leaving — it’s a Michigan that’s heading up. The sky is the limit. Not to quote Buzz Lightyear, but to infinity and beyond … that’s what we’re working with here.”
It wouldn’t be unprecedented, of course, for Michigan to bounce back from a blowout loss at OSU to accomplish great things. Former Ohio State coach Woody Hayes went for two to beat a talented U-M team 50-14 in 1968, and Bo Schembechler didn’t let his team forget it a year later.
Some feel Urban Meyer was trying to run it up by leaving his starters in to the very end of a 23-point victory this year. He’s gone, having left in disgrace in Ohio State tradition, leaving it to Ryan Day to keep a seven-game winning streak alive.
There are several games before then, however, and the goal is to go out this year with 11 wins, Winovich said.
“We have some unfinished business,” he said.
His former teammates do, too, especially when it comes to beating the Buckeyes.