University of Michigan basketball coach Juwan Howard spent 19 seasons playing in the NBA and was primarily known as a scorer and rebounder. But on Saturday afternoon, the third-year coach plans to contribute in a different way, via assist. Howard wants to lend his voice to the Wolverines football team during their rivalry game with Ohio State.
“I don’t know if [there is] a 12th man in football, but I feel like I’m the 12th man,” Howard said earlier this week.
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Following an 11-point win over Tarleton State on Wednesday night, Howard spent much of his press conference discussing The Game.
“Go Blue, baby! It’s going down on Saturday,” an enthusiastic Howard said.
Howard plans to bring both his voice and enthusiasm to the Wolverines sideline when the second-ranked Buckeyes visit Ann Arbor.
“They’re gonna need me out there,” added Howard. “I’m going to be out there loud, lose my voice, because I am coming with the energy.”
He won’t be alone. Ohio State enters the Big House with plenty of juice. They have the most prolific offense in the country and are currently riding a nine-game win streak. They have also won The Game 15 of the last 16 tries. Not that Howard’s overly concerned.
“(Head coach Jim) Harbaugh and his beautiful staff, they are preparing,” Howard said. “I love our game plan. I haven’t seen it, but I trust it. I also love our players, led by so many outstanding young student-athletes… I can name the entire roster. That’s how locked in I am.”
An assist from Howard couldn’t hurt. Michigan hasn’t beaten the Buckeyes since 2011, when Howard was still playing for the Miami Heat, averaging less than one assist per game.
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FanDuel Sportsbook favors the visiting Buckeyes by just over a touchdown. Kickoff is scheduled for noon EST Saturday.