INDIANAPOLIS – It was only a coincidence, but Michigan’s points total on Saturday was not lost to Jim Harbaugh.
The Wolverines beat Iowa, 42-3, to win the Big Ten Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium, and their latest touchdown and extra-point conversion prompted the head coach to make a double take.
“It hit me when I came to talk to Aidan (Hutchinson),” Harbaugh said. “It’s up to 42 up there. “
Number 42 was the jersey number worn by Tate Myre, one of four students killed in the Oxford High School shooting on Tuesday. Michigan wore a special patch on their jerseys to commemorate the teenager, “a football player, a wrestler – the best athlete in school,” Harbaugh said.
It was reported that Myre attempted to ambush gunman Ethan Crumbley, 15, in order to save his classmates. The “O” shaped crest included Myre’s initials, “TM” # 42 and four blue hearts, one for each of the four students killed in the incident.
Suite: Michigan defeats Iowa for Big Ten title, heading to college football playoffs
“The best athlete in the school could have easily walked out of this school and been the first out,” Harbaugh said. “But you just know that while people were running away from those shots, he was rushing at them. He’s a hero.
Michigan invited members of the Myre family to the Big Ten championship game on Saturday, and they were part of the pre-game draw. Ultimately, the idea for the gesture came from Hutchinson, a senior defensive end from Plymouth, Michigan, who approached Harbaugh earlier in the week to dedicate the game to Myre.
“I’m glad our players have soul too,” said Harbaugh. “They have a big heart. Amazing guys.
When asked if Michigan would continue to wear the # 42 patch on their jerseys during the college football playoffs, Harbaugh turned to Hutchinson, who quickly replied, “Sure, let’s go. “
“Absolutely,” Harbaugh replied.