LARRY LAGE, AP Sports Writer
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Jim Harbaugh has come up with another unique way of helping his players stay motivated, imploring them to avoid Freddy P. Soft.
“He’s a 4-inch guy that wears a cape and a hat with a plume in it,” Harbaugh explained, holding his right thumb and index finger apart just above his right shoulder. “He’s just tall enough to talk right into your ear and tell you that ‘You don’t have to practice today.’ ‘Why are you working so hard?’ Or, ‘Get over there in the shade. No need to attack with enthusiasm unknown to mankind today. Take a break. Take a knee.’ He’s not a guy you want around. You want to get him off your shoulder as fast as possible.”
No. 4 Michigan (2-0) tried to avoid listening to the praise it is getting for beating Hawaii and Central Florida by a combined score of 114-17 while it prepared to play Colorado (2-0) on Saturday at home.
Here are some things to watch when the Wolverines host the Buffaloes:
HAIL AT MICHIGAN: Colorado is commemorating its 1994 win at Michigan Stadium, where Kordell Stewart famously threw a 64-yard Hail Mary to Michael Westbrook with no time left on the clock for a stunning victory. The Buffaloes plan to wear throwback uniforms that look like they did 22 years ago, sporting white jerseys, black pants and gold helmets. Bill McCartney, who coached the Buffaloes in that game and during their 1990 national championship season, plans to be in the Big House as a guest of Colorado athletic director Rick George.
Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre said he has met “everybody involved in the play,” and got to know Stewart well last summer when the former star quarterback was back on campus to take classes and graduate.
“Not only can he throw the ball 70-something yards in the air, he’s a really good guy,” MacIntyre said.
YEAH, THAT WAS ME: HBO “Real Sports” spent time with and around Harbaugh during his first spring at Michigan. In one scene, Harbaugh was shown shouting at a player, whose image was blurred to keep him relatively anonymous. Quarterback Wilton Speight, who has emerged as a starter this season, acknowledged earlier this week he was the player Harbaugh was yelling at.
“All my buddies joked, they said, ‘Yeah, they blurred out the number, but you’re the only 8-foot quarterback,” Speight said. “Obviously, we’ve come a long way since then and it’s something to look back and laugh.”
VERY FUNNY: Michigan does not release its depth chart so the Buffaloes figured two can play that game. Colorado’s game notes list Elmer Fudd at quarterback, Vito Corleone at nose tackle and Happy Gilmore at punter.
“I think it was a very comical thing for us to release a depth chart like that,” Colorado’s real quarterback Sefo Liufau.
Harbaugh, apparently, didn’t think it was humorous.
“I was trying to imagine how many people sat around and how many hours they worked on that,” he said Thursday in a radio interview on WXYT.
OH, NO I DIDN’T: Harbaugh was the subject of social media buzz earlier this week when a video post appeared to show him put his right thumb and index finger near his right nostril and into his mouth during the UCF game. Harbaugh asked to address the topic on his radio show earlier in the week.
“I have never eaten a booger in my entire life,” Harbaugh insisted. “It might have looked like that was happening, but if you rub your nose and then you bite your fingernail, that’s not eating a booger.”
CONNECTED: When McCartney was an assistant for Bo Schembechler, before Colorado hired him away in 1982, he worked with Jack Harbaugh, father of Jim and John. The eldest Harbaugh would later go on to lead Western Kentucky, where he coached Matt MacIntyre, Colorado coach’s brother, and prevented the football program from folding with some help from his wife and sons.
“That family is credited for sure for saving football at Western Kentucky,” MacIntyre said.
AP college football website: collegefootball.ap.org
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